‘Thrilled’ PM reveals more engagement details

Watch Henry Winkler's sweet reaction to PM's engagement

Source: ABC News

Tributes are flooding in for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese as he reveals more of the details behind his wedding proposal to new fiancee Jodie Haydon.

Albanese revealed his big personal news on social media on Thursday, posting a picture of himself with Haydon with the simple caption “she said yes” followed by a love-heart emoji.

More details emerged about his proposal on Thursday. It happened at The Lodge after Albanese and Haydon had enjoyed a Valentine’s Day dinner at the restaurant Italian and Sons in the Canberra suburb of Braddon.

Albanese even designed the engagement ring that Haydon is now sporting.

“We are thrilled and excited to share this news and look forward to spending the rest of our lives together,” the couple said in a joint statement.

“We are so lucky to have found each other.”

Shortly after 4pm (AEDT), Albanese and Haydon fronted the media briefly at The Lodge. Both offered thanks for the warm wishes that have flowed since the news broke.

“It has been overwhelming, but beautiful,” Haydon said.

Albanese said the couple wanted to embrace the moment.

“I put a lot of planning and thought into the date –  obviously, Valentine’s Day, and the ring I helped design. And I asked on one of the balconies here at The Lodge,” he said.

He said the couple would “now have those discussions between us which I think people will understand and sort out those details”.

“But we just want to live in the moment at this point,” he said.

Albanese is the first Australian prime minister to get engaged while in office, and will be the first leader to get married while serving in the position.

News of his engagement prompted widespread congratulations.

Even TV star Henry Winkler (best known as The Fonz from sitcom Happy Days) weighed in. Winkler, who is in Australia on a book tour, was being interviewed on ABC radio when the announcement came.

“Does Jodie dance?” he asked host Patricia Karvelas.

“I think she’d dance with The Fonz – who wouldn’t?” Karvelas said.

“Hullo!” a grinning Winkler responded.

There were also good wishes for Albanese, 60, and Haydon, 45, from New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon.

“Congratulations Anthony, very happy for you and Jodie,” he said.

Tributes also came from closer to home.

“Love is a beautiful thing, I’m so happy for you both,” Foreign Minister Penny Wong wrote on X.

Labor MP Peter Khalil said “congratulations Albo and Jodie. Jodie is a lovely person and you’re both very lucky to have each other. You really outdid us all on Valentine’s Day”.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said he wished Albanese and Haydon all the best.

“I saw him in the [House of Representatives] and shook his hand and said ‘congratulations, and Jodie’s a lovely person,” he told Sydney radio station 2GB.

“I wish them every happiness and it’s obviously a special relationship they’ve got, and I wish them every success.”

Albanese and Haydon – a financial services professional and women’s advocate – met at an event in Melbourne and bonded over their shared love of the South Sydney Rabbitohs NRL team.

It came about a year after Albanese’s divorce from his wife of 19 years, former NSW deputy premier Carmel Tebbutt. She and Albanese share an adult son, Nathan.

In 2020, the then-opposition leader was speaking at the Melbourne lunch when he and asked if there were any Rabbitohs fans in the audience.

“Up the Rabbitohs,” Haydon called out.

Albanese told the Australian Women’s Weekly in 2022 he introduced himself to her shortly after.

“We had what I thought would just be a drink at Young Henrys in Newtown, and we got on really well. That’s how it started,” he said.

But Haydon, who lives in Albanese’s inner-Sydney electorate, has a different recollection of how their relationship started.

“I slid into his DMs,” she told News Corp.

“He had a public profile and I didn’t, so I knew that we both followed the same footy team, we both had a love for the inner-west and I think I said in that direct message ‘hey, we’re both single’.”

Their relationship became public in 2021, and Haydon now lives at The Lodge with Albanese. She has been by his side for several big events, including a state dinner at the White House with US president Joe Biden, the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and the King’s coronation.

– with AAP

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