Worth the wait” Former New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden, 43, writes as she weds her longtime partner

NEW ZEALAND- New Zealand’s former Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern married her longtime partner Clarke Gayford in a private ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 13, after cancelling ceremonies during strict COVID-19 controls she imposed on 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 approach to the pandemic, which allowed New Zealand to keep deaths from the virus low.

The wedding took place in Hawke’s Bay at Craggy Range Winery on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, an Ardern spokesperson said by email.

Official photos showed a smiling Ardern wearing a white halter-neck dress, while Gayford wore a black suit. They tied the knot in front of about 50 to 75 guests, news site Stuff reported.

Among the guests was Ardern’s successor as prime minister Chris Hipkins, the current opposition leader, the New Zealand Herald said.

On Monday, Jan. 15, Jacinda took to Facebook to share a photo from her wedding.

“Worth the wait,” she captioned the photo.

Jacinda was the prime minister from 2017 to 2023.

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.

Jacinda Ardern, for the past six months, has been undertaking three fellowships at Harvard University.

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