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New Zealand PM Ardern talks about wedding plans

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday she has no idea when her wedding will be and was surprised when her long-time partner proposed to her over the Easter holidays.

Ardern was addressing her first weekly media briefing after news of her engagement with Clarke Gayford became public last week.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern engaged to long-term partner Clarke Gayford
A photo from June 2018 shows New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) holding her newborn baby daughter next to her partner Clarke Gayford (R) in Auckland, New Zealand.

Her fiancé is a 41-year-old host of a television fishing show who takes care of their 10-month-old daughter Neve Te Aroha, while Ardern, 38, runs the country.

News of their engagement broke after journalists noticed Ardern wearing a ring on her middle finger at a public event on Friday. Ardern said it was Gayford’s grandmother’s ring.

Ardern said the proposal was made when the couple, plus her diplomatic protection security, some locals, and a dog who stole her chocolates, were at a “beautiful little lookout” on Mokotahi hill on the Mahia peninsula in Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.

The forthcoming wedding is a rarity for world leaders in office and follow Ardern’s pregnancy last year which was seen around the globe as a symbol of progress for female leaders.

Ardern is only the second elected leader to give birth while in office, after Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto in 1990 and, if she marries while in office, will be the first major leader to do so in recent years.

Via New Zealand Herald