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Bindi Irwin marries at Australia Zoo with no guests due to coronavirus pandemic

The daughter of Steve Irwin said she and her longtime partner, Chandler Powell, married without guests to stay safe and "we lit a candle in Dad’s memory."
Image: Bindi Irwin with fiance Chandler Powell
Bindi Irwin with fiance Chandler Powell at the annual Steve Irwin Gala Dinner on Nov. 9, 2019 in Brisbane, Australia.Bradley Kanaris / Getty Images file

Bindi Irwin went ahead with her wedding at the Australia Zoo to her longtime boyfriend Chandler Powell, though with major changes due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Irwin, 21, said on social media Wednesday that the couple chose to go ahead with the wedding that had been planned for almost a year but didn't have any guests in an effort to keep everyone safe. The wildlife conservationist said it was a "very difficult decision" for them.

"We wish all of our friends and family could have been there with us, however it’s lovely that we will be able to share photos and videos," Irwin said. "Right now we’re encouraging the world to hold onto hope and love, which will carry us forward during this profound time in history."

The couple announced their engagement in July after almost six years together. Powell, 23, is an American who met Irwin while taking a tour of the Australia Zoo in 2013.

Irwin said in her statement on social media Wednesday that the couple "celebrated life and revelled in every beautiful moment we shared together" with their ceremony.

"Mum helped me get ready, Robert walked me down the aisle, Chandler became my husband and together we lit a candle in Dad’s memory," Irwin wrote.

Irwin's father, Steve Irwin, was a wildlife expert and TV personality known as "The Crocodile Hunter." He died in 2006 while filming an episode of his television show after being attacked by a stingray.

Irwin's younger brother, Robert, commented on her post and said that it was "one of the most special moments of my life walking you down the aisle and watching you start your married life together."

Irwin also reminded everyone to maintain the social distancing recommended by medical experts and to stay safe amid the pandemic. The Australian government reported 2,423 confirmed coronavirus cases in the country as of Wednesday.