Jacinda Ardern marries partner Clarke Gayford in private ceremony

13 January 2024, 10:04 GMT

Updated 3 hours ago

Image source, EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

New Zealand’s former prime minister Jacinda Ardern has married her long-term partner Clarke Gayford in a small private ceremony in North Island.

The couple had intended to tie the knot in 2022 but cancelled during strict Covid restrictions that Ms Ardern’s government imposed on the country.

Ms Ardern gave a five-minute wedding speech to dozens of guests.

The couple have been together for a decade and have a five-year-old daughter, Neve, together.

The wedding took place in Hawke’s Bay at Craggy Range Winery on the east coast of North Island, about 310km (190 miles) north of the capital Wellington.

Ms Ardern wore a fitted ivory dress by designer Juliette Hogan – who is reportedly a close friend of the ex-PM – and a long veil clipped onto a chignon up-do hairstyle.

Her shoes are from Mount Maunganui designer Chaos and Harmony, the New Zealand Herald reports. She was carrying a white cascading bouquet.

Daughter Neve walked into the ceremony with her father and wore a dress made of fabric from her grandmother Laurell Ardern’s wedding dress.

The bride’s hairdresser, Tane Tomoana, shared pictures of “paua and snapper” rolls enjoyed by guests.

Ms Ardern, 43, served as prime minister of New Zealand for more than five years and announced she was resigning from public office last January, saying she did not have “enough in the tank”.

She earned international recognition for her style of leadership, particularly in the aftermath of a deadly mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch in 2019.

In her final speech in parliament, Ardern told TV presenter Mr Gayford, 47: “Let’s finally get married.”

Since resigning she has taken up three fellowships at Harvard University.

She is also a trustee for Prince William’s Earthshot Prize and a special envoy for the Christchurch Call – a network seeking to “eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online” that was set up after the Christchurch shooting.

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Watch: Jacinda Ardern’s emotional farewell to New Zealand parliament

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