‘You just get on with it’: Jacinda Ardern says Queen gave her ‘best advice’ on being a new mum and leader

by 24britishtvSept. 19, 2022, 4 a.m. 14
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Jacinda Ardern says the Queen gave her the best advice she got on combining the duties of leading a country and being a new mother: “Just get on with it.”

New Zealand’s prime minister, who is in London to attend the Queen’s funeral, said her first meeting with Queen Elizabeth II was in 2018, when she had recently been elected prime minister and was pregnant with her daughter, Neve.

Ardern is one of just a handful of world leaders who have been pregnant and had a child while holding office, and said she had been mulling over how to manage having her first baby while leading a country.

“One of the things on my mind alongside being a new prime minister was being a prime minister and a mum – and when you think about leaders who have been in that position … there were so few to look to,” she told the BBC.

“So I said to [the Queen], ‘How did you manage?’ and I remember she just said, ‘Well, you just get on with it’. And that was actually probably the best and most factual advice I could have,” Ardern said.

“I see now what it takes to be a mum and a leader – and she did it more times over than I.”

The late Queen gave birth to Prince Andrew and Prince Edward while she was monarch.

Ardern gave birth to her daughter, Neve Te Aroha, in June 2018, and returned to her position as prime minister just two months later. She is only the second elected leader to give birth while in office: the late Benazir Bhutto gave birth while serving as prime minister of Pakistan in 1990.

Ardern visited the Queen lying in state over the weekend – and as a visiting dignitary, was allowed to skip the eight-kilometre long queue of people turning out to pay respects and witness the historical moment.

She said if she was a private citizen, she would have joined the queue herself.

“In part as a way of acknowledging the moment in time as well as the person,” she said.

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