Diane Von Furstenberg, Kristen Bell and Elizabeth Taylor incuded
Let’s flip that anthemic Beyoncé lyric: if we like it, maybe we should put a ring on it.
Maybe we should get down on one knee and let our beau know we want to spend forever with them. It’s very romantic whichever way round it happens, right?
The leap year proposal tradition – where women do the asking – dates back to 5th century Ireland and something called ‘St Bridget’s Complaint’. Bridge was vexed by how long women often had to wait to receive a proposal. She took her problem to St Patrick who decreed that going forward women could propose on the leap year.
Hundreds of years have passed since then, yet it remains unusual for a woman to propose to her male partner. Even though we’ve never been more independent and empowered society is still tied to the old-fashioned idea that the man should take the initiative.
However, according to a survey of 1000 women conducted by Nationwide Building Society up to 6% of women have said they are planning to propose to their partner this year (leap day is Monday 29 February).
Whether you’re fed up of waiting or just fancy flying in the face of convention, here are some examples of women who took charge of the situation:
Zsa Zsa Gabor
The actress and socialite claimed to have proposed to all nine of her husbands and famously said: ‘I pay all my own bills… I want to choose the man. I do not permit men to choose me.’ Word.
On 15 October 1839 Queen Victoria invited her cousin Prince Albert to join her alone in ‘the Closet’. Blush. It was there that she asked if he would marry her. HE SAID YES. The Queen’s diaries include details of the moments after: ‘we embraced each other over and over again, and he was so kind, so affectionate… I really felt it was the happiest brightest moment in my life.’
Diane Von Furstenberg
The creator of the iconic wrap dress proposed to her beau Barry Diller, an American business man: ‘One year I didn’t know what to give him for his birthday’ she revealed to Oprah’s O magazine ‘And I called him and said, ‘You know, if you want, for your birthday I’ll marry you.’
Pink proposed to motocross star Carey Hart mid motorcycle race. During the third lap of an event she held up a board that read “Will You Marry Me?”, Hart didn’t pull over so she held up another that read ‘I’m serious’. He pulled over.
After just six months of dating Halle Berry felt sure of American baseball player David Justice, and asked him to be her husband. They were married for five years but divorced in 1997.
Kristen Bell proposed to her now husband Dax Shepard on Twitter. The couple had agreed to wait until America’s Defense Of Marriage Act was abolished until they got hitched – a show of solidarity towards their gay and lesbian friends. In the end, Kristen popped the question first, via social media. Take that tradition.
Remember that reality show ‘Britney and Kevin: Chaotic’? Us neither, however it was during filming of an episode that Britney asked Kevin Federline to marry her. He said no, only to ask for her hand at a later date.
According to The Guardian, in 1952, while Elizabeth Taylor was in England filming her role of Rebecca in Ivanhoe, she proposed to British actor Michael Wilding. Wilding was 20 years older than Taylor and the couple went on to have two sons together.
Jennifer Hudson proposed to her boyfriend, David Otunga, five months after he proposed to her. Basically, she popped the question right back at him – a very romantic tit for tat.