Jacinda Ardern Undercover: Former New Zealand PM Marries Two Years Late

Jacinda Ardern Undercover: Former New Zealand PM Marries Two Years Late

Jacinda Ardern under cover
Former New Zealand PM marries two years late

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Due to self-imposed strict Covid rules, Jacinda Ardern had to cancel her 2022 wedding. Now the former New Zealand prime minister is giving it a second try, and finally saying “yes.” There has been much speculation about the ceremony in advance.

After five years of engagement, former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has married her long-term partner Clarke Gayford. New Zealand media reported that the top-secret ceremony was held under tight security in the famous wine region of Hawke's Bay on the North Island.

In the photos, the couple can be seen holding hands among the rows of vines. Ardern wore a long white dress and wedding veil, while Gayford wore a black suit and tie. Only close family members, friends and a handful of politicians, including Ardern's successor and former prime minister Chris Hipkins, were invited, according to the New Zealand Herald and news site Stuff.

Happy bride and groom: Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford.

Happy bride and groom: Jacinda Ardern and Clarke Gayford.

(Photo: German Press Agency)

New Zealand media have speculated for weeks about possible details of the wedding, but little information has been released. The couple announced their engagement in May 2019, a year after the birth of their daughter, Neve. The wedding was scheduled for January 2022, but then Covid-19 struck and Ardern, then New Zealand’s prime minister, had to cancel her wedding due to her government’s strict Covid-19 restrictions. “This is life,” she said at the time. She is affected just like all of her citizens. For a long time, New Zealand has followed a stricter Covid-19 path than Germany, for example.

TV presenter Gayford and Ardern reportedly met at a formal event in Auckland in 2012. But they didn’t become a couple until much later. Jacinda Ardern was the Pacific nation’s prime minister from 2017 until her shock resignation in early 2023. At the time, she said she lacked the strength to continue as prime minister. When she took office, she was the world’s youngest head of government at the time.

Because of her compassionate nature, the politician has also made a name for herself internationally. In particular, her handling of the deadly attacks in Christchurch in 2019 brought her much acclaim. At the time, a right-wing extremist shot 51 Muslims in two mosques. Ardern has now taken on several roles outside politics, for example at the renowned American Harvard University, in the fight against terrorism and climate protection. When she resigned last year, she said: “Clark, let’s finally get married!”

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