Artist-painter Charlotte Johnson Wahl, mother of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who once called her “supreme authority” in her family, has died at the age of 79, a notice published in the The Times daily Tuesday.
Charlotte Johnson Wahl, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease at the age of 40, died “suddenly” but “peacefully” at St Mary’s Hospital in central London, the Johnson family said.
She was the mother of Alexander, who would be known from adolescence by his middle name Boris, Rachel, journalist, Leo, environmentalist, and Jo, former Conservative secretary of state.
The Johnson family like many British families were very divided on the issue of Brexit, with Boris Johnson revealing that his mother voted like him to leave the European Union, while his sister Rachel is pro-EU.
Boris’ father, Stanley, was one of the first British civil servants in Brussels, a member of the European Parliament and of the Commission. Anti-Brexit in 2016, he suddenly turned a corner the following year.
Daughter of lawyer James Fawcett, who was president of the European Commission of Human Rights in the 1970s, CharlotteJohnson Wahl studied English at the prestigious University of Oxford where she met Stanley Johnson, who she married in 1963.
She interrupted her studies to go to the United States with her husband and then returned to the United Kingdom to complete her university studies.
After her divorce from Boris Johnson’s father in 1979, she made a living from her art but struggled to make ends meet. She made a name for herself as a portrait painter.
In 1988, she married the American academic Nicholas Wahl and moved to New York where she began painting cityscapes – which would be the subject of a sold-out exhibition in 2004. She had returned to London after her death in 1996.