New Zealand PM Ardern sets date for summer wedding

WELLINGTON: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern plans to get married during summer but did not disclose the date, local media reported.

Ardern told a radio channel that she and her partner television host Clarke Gayford have “finally got a date” for the wedding. “We have finally got a date. Finally,” she said, declining to reveal the precise date, but adding it would be “this coming summer”.

“When I say we’ve got a date, that doesn’t mean we’ve told anyone yet. I feel like we should probably put some invites out,” Ardern was quoted as saying,

Ardern, 40, got engaged to Gayford, 44, during the Easter holidays in 2019 and they have a two-year-old daughter. Both will tell their families before announcing their wedding plans.

The wedding being planned in summer, which runs from December to February in the southern hemisphere, might not be celebrated in the traditional way as Ardern admitted she “feels a bit too old to have a bridal party.”

Ardern became New Zealand’s youngest prime minister when she took office in 2017 and is one of the few elected leaders to hold office while pregnant.

She returned to power last October delivering the biggest election victory for her centre-left Labour Party in half a century largely due to her government’s decisive response to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.

Weddings by heads of government are relatively rare. When UK Prime Minister Boris Johnston marries his fiancée Carrie Symonds, as he intends to do this year, he will become the first British leader to do so in office in almost two centuries.