World Leaders with Tattoos: Is Canada’s Trudeau the Only Leader with Body Art?


The eyes of the world have been firmly fixed on Canada’s new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau.  Although much of this attention has been due to his huge election victory, we couldn’t help but notice the huge, awesome-looking tattoo that the new Canadian leader is sporting on his left arm.

This has left us- and many others- wondering if Trudeau is the only world leader to have a tattoo.

The Haida Raven

The new leader addressed the tattoo back in 2012, explaining  the origin of his tattoo, which is in the form of a raven. Here’s what he had to say:

This tattoo design is a great example of a meaningful design which is also attractive to look at. It’s a design which is especially meaningful to Trudeau’s family; they were made honorary members of the Haida tribe in 1976 during Justin’s father entered his second term as Prime Minister.

Do Any Other Leaders Have a Tattoo?

It can be quite difficult to tell if any other world leaders have a tattoo, especially when they are often photographed in the media in full, professional attire such as a suit.

Anna Felicity Friedman, a tattoo historian has revealed that she isn’t aware of any current world leaders sporting some ink, and self-proclaimed tattoo professor Kevin Gannon also reports that there are no known tattooed world leaders.

This doesn’t mean that there haven’t been any tattoo clad world leaders in the past, however.

An Ink to the Past

It has been recorded that our very own Monarchs, George V and Edward VII had the Jerusalem cross tattooed on their arms, depicting their pilgrimages to the holy city.

Teddy Roosevelt, the US President was also said to have his family crest tattooed on his chest, with two other former US presidents also having tattoos; James Polk who apparently had a Chinese character which was said to mean “eager” and Andrew Jackson who supposedly had a tomahawk tattooed on his thigh.

Nicolas II, a Russian Tsar also dabbled with tattoos, coming back from a visit to Japan with a dragon inked on his arm, and Yugoslavian king, King Alexander had a huge heraldic eagle tattooed onto his chest. Denmark also had a tattooed king, King Frederick IX, who had a variety of naval themed tattoos from the navy.

close up of red, white and black tattoo ink pots

So, although Trudeau seems to currently be the only leader with ink at the moment, the notion of a leader with a tattoo is nothing new. Who knows, maybe he will start the revival of the tattooed world leader!

We think that Trudeau’s tattoo art looks fantastic and for a Prime Minister to adopt and embrace such a great form of self expression, we can only hope this makes tattoos even more popular!

If you need to stock up on tattoo supplies just in case a powerful leader walks through your studio doors, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here at Body Shock. We have everything you need, from amazing, pigmented ink to transfer paper for your designs, so call us today on 01922 744088 and we will be more than happy to help you.

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