Jacinda Ardern has revealed new details about how Clarke Gayford proposed to her

Including her deep regret of wearing track pants for the life-changing moment.
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Jacinda Ardern has revealed new details about her marriage proposal from fiancé Clarke Gayford, including that she regrettably wore track pants for the life-changing moment.

Gayford proposed to Ardern on Easter Weekend when the couple were taking a break in Mahia, a small East Coast settlement in Hawke’s Bay.

Gayford presented the Prime Minister with his grandmother’s ring as they enjoyed the view from the top of Mokotahi hill. One of Ardern’s security team was nearby, but apparently oblivious to the magic unfolding, as well as members of the public and a dog who tried to steal the chocolate that “Clarke bought me”.

In an interview this week with Australian journalist Lisa Wilkinson from The Sunday Project, Ardern went into more detail about the proposal and it turns out the chocolate she mentioned had more significance than she’d previously given away.

The chocolate had, in fact, been an Easter egg that the ring was hidden in.

“Clarke’s mum put (the engagement ring) into an Easter egg for him to give to me,” Ardern explained, adding that she clocked that it was inside once she “gave it a shake”.

She joked that if she’d known the love of her life was going to propose to her that day she might have dressed differently, saying, “If I (had known), I probably wouldn’t have been wearing sweats.”

We hear you, Jacinda Ardern.

The happy couple when they announced in January 2018 that they were expecting their first child. Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford was born five months later on June 22. Source: Getty

In January Ardern had been asked by a BBC reporter if she’d ever ask Gayford to marry her and her answer was an emphatic no; she joked that she wanted to put Gayford through “the pain and torture of having to agonise about that question himself.”

Ardern, 38, and Gayford, 41, met at an awards event, the Metro Restaurant Awards, in 2012 and the pair reconnected later when Gayford approached the then Labour MP with a constituency issue. They went for coffee and discovered they shared a passion for the Kiwi band Shapeshifter.

Gayford, a keen fisherman, famously took Ardern fishing for their first date and told the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly he knew she was ‘the one’ because she pulled in a 5.4kg snapper on her first cast, then a John Dory “and then a whale showed up”.

In June 2018 the couple welcomed their first child, Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford.

Gayford juggles his career as a TV fishing show host with being a stay-at-home dad as Neve’s main caregiver.

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