Wellington, January 13: New Zealand's former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern married her longtime partner Clarke Gayford in a private ceremony on Saturday, CNN reported. She finally tied the knot after ceremonies were cancelled during the strict Covid-19 controls imposed by her in the country. Ardern, 43, and Gayford, 47, got engaged in May 2019 and were meant to be married in early 2022, but the ceremony was cancelled due to her "go hard, go early" approach to the pandemic, which allowed New Zealand to keep deaths from the virus low, according to CNN.
Notably, Ardern became a global icon for left-leaning politics and women in leadership as prime minister from 2017 to January last year. She is one of just two women to have a baby as national leaders took her daughter to a United Nations meeting. Former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Marries Clarke Gayford After Five-Year Engagement (See Pics).
The wedding took place in Hawke's Bay at Craggy Range Winery on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island, about 310 km (190 miles) north of the capital Wellington, CNN reported citing Ardern spokesperson. Official photos showed a smiling Ardern wearing a white halterneck dress, while Gayford wore a black suit. They tied the knot in front of some 50 to 75 guests, news site Stuff reported.
Among the guests were Ardern's successor as prime minister, Chris Hipkins and the current opposition leader, CNN reported, citing the New Zealand Herald. Hawke's Bay is home to a number of internationally known wineries and is an important horticultural area. Jacinda Ardern Announces She Will Resign as New Zealand Prime Minister in February, Won't Contest General Elections (Watch Video).
For the past six months, Ardern has been undertaking three fellowships at Harvard University. She is a trustee of Prince William's Earthshot Prize and a special envoy for the Christchurch Call - a network seeking to "eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online". It was set up after a massacre targeting Muslims, for which Ardern's sympathetic response won applause.
In her final speech in parliament, Ardern told Gayford, a New Zealand television presenter, "Let's finally get married." The couple's daughter Neve, is five years old, CNN reported.