‘She said yes’: Australian prime minister proposes to partner on Valentine’s Day

In Australia, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese took a break from his official duties on Wednesday to mark Valentine’s Day with a romantic proposal to his partner, Jodie Haydon. Albanese shared the engagement news on Thursday, posting a joyful selfie of the couple with the caption “She said yes” on social media.

The photo revealed Haydon wearing an engagement ring designed with the assistance of her now-fiancé. Albanese expressed his happiness, stating in a Thursday Sky interview, “It is such a joy to be able to share this news with people, and it’s wonderful that I’ve found a partner who I want to spend the rest of my life with.”

The proposal took place on a balcony at the prime minister’s official residence in Canberra after a Valentine’s Day dinner at an Italian restaurant. Haydon, with a background in the pension fund industry, expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming congratulations the couple received. “I just want to thank everybody for such warm congratulations today, from our friends to our family, from people that we don’t know,” she said in the Sky interview.

The couple’s initial meeting occurred at a Melbourne event in early 2020, and their engagement is noted as the first for a sitting prime minister, according to local media reports. Opposition leader Peter Dutton, typically a sharp critic, extended his congratulations in Parliament, expressing anticipation for “our version” of a royal wedding. He playfully added, “I’ll be there throwing roses out there in front of you, Prime Minister, whatever it takes to get an invite to the gala wedding.”

Cabinet ministers also utilized social media to convey their congratulations, with Foreign Minister Penny Wong, a longtime acquaintance of Albanese, emphasizing that “love is a beautiful thing” in a post on social media.