Yet another ‘first’ for Anthony Albanese as PM

Depending on when the date is set, Anthony Albanese could become the first Australian Prime Minister to marry while in office.

On February 15, the day after Valentine’s Day, Albanese shared a picture of himself and Jodie Haydon with a bespoke ring on her finger.

“She said yes,” his message read on social media, complete with heart emoji.

Of all the prime ministers Australia has had over the years, only three have been unmarried when they started their term in office.

John McEwen was a widower and was very briefly prime minister after Harold Holt died.

Julia Gillard was with her partner Tim Mathieson while she was in office, but the two never married.

Albanese became the first divorcee to become prime minister when he was elected in 2022, however, other prime ministers before him divorced after leaving office.

In 2019, Albanese split from his wife of 19 years, former NSW deputy premier Carmel Tebbutt. The two have an adult son, Nathan.

There hasn’t been any news on when the wedding will happen, but if he gets married before his term is up, Albanese will be the first PM to marry while in office.

Who is Jodie Haydon?

Albanese met Haydon when he was the Opposition Leader, back in early 2020 and the two bonded over their love for South Sydney NRL team.

They also found out they got on pretty well after having a beer together and their first date was reportedly at Young Henrys brewery in the Sydney suburb of Newtown.

Haydon lives in Albanese’s inner-Sydney electorate of Grayndler and used to work in the superannuation industry as an executive.

In 2022, she took on the role as women’s officer for the Public Service Association of NSW.

Since Albanese was voted in as Prime Minister, Haydon has attended several official trips abroad.

What does this marriage mean?

The role of the spouse of the Prime Minister has no official duties or responsibilities, though there are expectations that on occasion they attend high-profile events.

Haydon has essentially been doing all the things one would expect a wife or husband of the Prime Minister to do.

She accompanied Albanese to the Queen’s funeral in 2022 and a White House State Dinner, hosted by US President Joe Biden.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden, Prime Minister of Australia Anthony Albanese and his partner Jodie Haydon

Jodie Haydon has attended several official events with Anthony Albanese.

Unlike in the US, spouses don’t get their own staff or budget.

Haydon has also largely shied away from the public, and only done a handful of interviews since their relationship became public.

Regardless of whether the wedding happens while Albanese is PM or not, it is likely to cause a bit of a fuss in the media, given he is a well-known Australian.

The love lives of foreign leaders

A married world leader is the norm, though there are some notable exceptions and it’s not really uncommon to see marriages fall apart when in office these days.

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s former PM wasn’t married until she left office and also became the country’s first prime minister to be pregnant in office.

Italy’s current Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni was in a relationship with Andrea Giambruno when she took office, but they never married and split in 2023.

Former UK prime minister Boris Johnson finalised his divorce to his second wife in the middle of his term in 2020.

There were rumours that Johnson had begun an affair with his current wife, Carrie Symonds, while he was still married to Marina Wheeler.

Last year, Canada’s Justin Trudeau announced he and his wife Sophie Grégoire were separating.

Vladimir Putin is also on the list of world leaders who announced their divorce while in office.

Perhaps the most high-profile spouses of world leaders have been First Ladies in the US but the title hasn’t always been specifically for spouses.

Very few US presidents have been unmarried while in office and there have been women who have acted as the First Lady, despite not being married to the president.

Among the most prominent examples is Harriet Lane, who was the niece of James Buchanan, who never married and assumed guardianship of her when she became an orphan.

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