New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has made history as the first elected leader to take maternity leave.
The Prime Minister and her husband, Clarke Gayford, welcomed a healthy baby girl into the world on Thursday afternoon local time.
Ardern is also the second world leader to give birth while in office. The other was Pakistan’s Benazir Bhutto in 1990 who in a turn of fate, shares a birthday with Ardern’s daughter.
As part of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth sent a private message of congratulations to the Prime Minister though Britain’s Cabinet Office Ardern’s office has confirmed.
Ardern had a private audience with Her Majesty back in April when she was in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings.
The news of the Prime Minister’s daughter’s birth was shared via her Instagram, where Ardern wrote: “Welcome to our village wee one. Feeling very lucky to have a healthy baby girl that arrived at 4.45pm weighing 3.31kg (7.3lb) Thank you so much for your best wishes and your kindness. We’re all doing really well thanks to the wonderful team at Auckland City Hospital.”
Queen Elizabeth isn’t the only monarch to send well-wishes. King Salman of Saudi Arabia sent a floral display so large that it had to be carried up using a wheelchair.
New Zealanders will get their first look at the trio as they leave the hospital at 11 am on Sunday local time.
Political commentator and writer, Morgan Godfrey commented on the no-fuss procedure the Prime Minister opted for, saying: “Jacinda Ardern arrived at hospital in her own car, with Clarke driving. No crown limo or special ambulance. Her baby was delivered in a public hospital alongside everyone else’s. No private hospital. No extra special attention. New Zealand, remain your understated self.”
In late October or early November, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be visiting New Zealand as part of their multi-country tour that also includes Australia, Fiji and the Kingdom of Tonga. They will undoubtedly meet with Ardern who has been an outspoken opponent of the monarchy, despite her respect for The Queen who has also had to raise her children in the public eye.