WELSH First Minister Mark Drakeford's wife Clare has died suddenly.
She had been married to the minister for 45 years and had three children together.
A Welsh Government spokesperson said: "It is with deep sadness that we confirm the sudden passing of Clare Drakeford, wife of the First Minister.
"The thoughts of everyone in the Welsh Government are with the family at this time and we ask that their privacy is respected."
Her cause of death is not yet known.
Last year Mr Drakeford revealed he had been separated from his "vulnerable" wife for much of the pandemic.
The pair had lived in separate homes in order to "keep her safe".
He told ITV Wales: “I’ve been married for a very long time and not to be in the house and to be at a physical distance, even though we saw each other every day and talked every day, it was a puzzling experience in that sort of way and for that to be over it is a bit emotional for everybody.”
Paying tribute to Clare today, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds said: "My thoughts are with the First Minister and his family at this very difficult time.
"On behalf of everyone in the Welsh Liberal Democrats, I extend our deepest condolences to Mark, his family and friends."
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First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said she is sending Mark Drakeford "love and strength" following the news that his wife, Clare, has died suddenly.
"My thoughts are with Mark and his family at this terribly sad time," Ms Sturgeon tweeted.
"On the occasions I met Clare it was obvious how strong the bond between her and Mark was, and I can only imagine the depth of grief he is feeling.
"Sending him love and strength."
Jo Stevens, Labour MP for Cardiff Central, said: "So shocked and so very sad at the news of Clare Drakeford's death.
"The thoughts and sympathy of all us in and across the Welsh Parliamentary Labour Party are with Mark and his family."
Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price tweeted: "My heart is absolutely breaking for @PrifWeinidog after hearing of the sudden passing of his wife, Clare Drakeford.
"I know how close you were and there are no words to describe the pain you must be feeling. My thoughts are with you and your family. We're all here for you Mark."
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