Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reveals top tip Queen Elizabeth gave her about life as new mother

Queen Elizabeth told Ardern to "just get on with it" when asked for advice about being both a leader and a new mother.
Queen Elizabeth told Ardern to "just get on with it" when asked for advice about being both a leader and a new mother. Photo credit: BBC

Jacinda Ardern has revealed the sage advice Queen Elizabeth II gave her about being a new mother whilst being Prime Minister of New Zealand. 

Ardern is in London for the Queen's funeral on Monday night (NZ time) but has also met with King Charles III and UK's new Prime Minister Liz Truss. 

Ardern became just the second elected head of Government to give birth while in office when her daughter Neve Te Aroha was born in June 2018. She returned to work in early August of that year. 

The Prime Minister has also used her time in London to appear on the BBC's TV programme Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg. 

Ardern was shown footage of her first meeting with the Queen, which took place when she was pregnant. 

"One of the things on my mind alongside being a new Prime Minister was being a Prime Minister and a mum," Ardern told Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg. 

"When you think about leaders who have been in that position, there was Benazir Bhutto, there was myself. But before that, there was the Queen. There were so few to look to." 

The Queen gave birth to Prince Andrew and Prince Edward while she was on the throne. The only other elected leader to give birth in office was Benazir Bhutto, who served as Prime Minister of Pakistan from 1988 to 1990 and 1993 to 1996.

Ardern recalls asking the Queen how she managed to be a mum in her role of leadership. 

"I said to her, 'How did you, how did you manage?' She just said, 'Well, you just get on with it'. And that was actually probably the best and most, I think, factual advice I could have," Ardern said.

"You just take every day as it comes, and she did. But I have such respect for her because I see now what it takes to be a mum and a leader."

Before becoming leader of the Labour Party and Prime Minister of New Zealand, Ardern previously worked in London as an adviser in the Cabinet Office.

Ardern said she wasn't surprised "at all" by the size of the public's response to the Queen's death in London.

"I've seen what London looks like day-to-day, and what it feels like day-to-day, the hustle and bustle," she said.

"And to see it just stand still, but do so poetically, is a very moving thing to witness. The Queen was here for her people, and now her people are there for her."

Ardern also used the interview to reiterate her belief that New Zealand will "likely" become a republic in her lifetime. 

"Even the Queen herself has observed and acknowledged the evolution over time in our relationships," she said.

"So my observation is that there will continue to be an evolution in our relationship. I don't believe that it will be quick or soon, but over the course of my lifetime."