Former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, married her long-time partner, Clarke Gayford, in a private ceremony on Saturday. The couple, engaged since May 2019, had initially planned to marry in early 2022, but the ceremony was postponed due to Ardern’s strict COVID-19 controls implemented in the country.
Ardern, aged 43, and Gayford, aged 47, tied the knot at Craggy Range Winery in Hawke’s Bay on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island. The region is known for its internationally recognized wineries. The ceremony was attended by 50 to 75 guests, including Ardern’s successor as prime minister, Chris Hipkins, and the current opposition leader.
Official photos captured the joyous occasion, with Ardern wearing a white halter neck dress and Gayford in a black suit. The couple’s five-year-old daughter, Neve, was part of the celebration.
Jacinda Ardern gained global recognition for her leadership style and progressive policies during her tenure as prime minister from 2017 to January 2023. She is one of only two women to have given birth while serving as a national leader, and she brought her daughter to a United Nations meeting.
The wedding marks the culmination of Ardern’s six-month fellowship at Harvard University. She continues to play a role in global initiatives, serving as a trustee of Prince William’s Earthshot Prize and a special envoy for the Christchurch Call, a network focused on eliminating terrorist and violent extremist content online.
Ardern’s empathetic response to the Christchurch mosque shootings in 2019 garnered international acclaim, leading to the establishment of the Christchurch Call. In her final parliamentary speech, Ardern expressed her desire to marry Gayford, concluding the public aspect of their relationship.