21-year-old Bindi Irwin’s long time boyfriend Chandler Powell proposed to the preservationist at the Australia Zoo and the Irwin family couldn’t be happier
Conservationist Bindi Irwin, daughter of the late renowned crocodile hunter Steven Irwin, is now engaged to longtime boyfriend Chandler Powell. The 21-year-old has been dating her now-fiancé for six years.
Bindi shared the news with PEOPLE stating, “I am overjoyed to be sharing the news that Chandler and I are engaged! This has been the most special day celebrating my 21st birthday. I’ve met my soulmate and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with Chandler. We’ve been together for nearly 6 years now and he’s my happily ever after.” The couple met in 2013 when Bindi was giving tours at the Australia Zoo and Powell had dropped by.
The young Australian lost her father back in 2006 in a tragic incident involving a stingray. She was only 8 years old. Ever since then, the family including Steve’s wife Terri, and the children Bindi and Robert have worked hard in their animal conservation efforts.
Speaking about her wedding to Entertainment Tonight, Bindi believes that it’s what her father would have wanted – to have Robert walk her down the aisle. "I'm always so grateful that Robert is there, and he has been such a big part of my life and he's always stepped up and been the one to give me a hug when I need it and encourage me forward in life," Bindi shared. "So he will definitely be the one to walk me down the aisle when the time comes, and I think that will make it really special."
"And I think that's what dad would have wanted as well," she added.
But what about the father-daughter dance that is pretty popular at weddings? Bindi feels her mother would be perfect to fill in the role. "I think if I was going to do a dance, it would be with my mom. My mom and I are so close. She's my pillar of strength in life and I love her beyond description. So I think, when the time comes, Robert will walk me down the aisle, Chandler and I will have our wonderful moment and I'll have my dance with mom. I think that would be wonderful."
Although the young bride-to-be lost her father when she was very young, her mom has always been there to offer sound advice. Terri goes on to share pearls of wisdom when it comes to marriage, saying that her marriage to Steve was like depending on a good old pair of “old shoes”.
"It sounds really weird, but if you have your most comfortable pair of shoes, you can always count on them, you know, that they're always gonna hold up, and they'll walk you through life and they're dependable," Bindi explained. "And she said, 'That's what our marriage was. It was like the most comfortable pair of shoes... That's what you're looking for, so you can enjoy all of this wonderful adventure, but then at the end of the day, you'll come home to someone who will always be there for you and who will back you up and just be that comfort and support in your life.'"
She shared photographs of her engagement on Instagram, where her brother secretly captured the loving moments of the soon-to-wed couples. She wrote: The most beautiful surprise. Chandler and Robert worked together to capture the moment I said ‘YES’. We were in the gardens of Australia Zoo and it was beyond perfect. I never even knew Robert was there photographing and I’ll always be grateful to have these special memories of the most amazing day of my life