Leap Day proposal inspiration: Ten female celebrities who popped the question – including Britney Spears and Pink – as it’s revealed 40% of men would say ‘yes’ on February 29th

Leap Day is upon us, meaning it’s common practice for women to flip the script and pop the question to their partner.

While the age-old Irish tradition might seem daunting, multiple celebrities have paved the way, from Britney Spears to Rita Ora and Pink.

What’s more, new research from Amazon has revealed that nearly 40 per cent of men are in favour of being proposed to by a female partner this Leap Year,

Meanwhile, 27 per cent of the 5,000 participants thought the notion of waiting for Leap Day is ‘outdated’ and that women should feel free to pop the question at any time.

‘It’s 2024 – women should obviously feel comfortable proposing to men. The 29th February is a well-known cultural moment, so it’s not a bad time to do it,’ said Olivia, 24, who took part in the survey.

Pop icon Britney Spears famously popped the question to her former lover Kevin Federline in 2004

She continued: ‘No one is saying this is your only possible opportunity – it’s just a bit of fun. It totally depends on the relationship that you have with your partner, and if people want to do it, then all power to them.’

Meanwhile, another participant disagreed, saying: ‘I know I could propose if I wanted but I genuinely appreciate the tradition of being proposed to.’

It’s clear that women getting down on one knee divides the population, but several celebrities have gone against the norm and proposed to their partner.

Here, FEMAIL reveals the female celebrities who got down on one knee.

While Dax knew he wanted to marry Britney, it was the pop star that requested his hand in marriage

The pair went on to have two sons together,  Sean Preston and Jayden James. (Seen at a Los Angeles Premiere in 2005)

She’s known for her feminist lyrics and in 2004 she embraced their ideals by taking charge of her relationship and proposing to her then-boyfriend, Kevin Federline.

Their whirlwind romance saw the pair married three months after they first met. And while the wedding sparked interest, it was Britney’s decision to get down on one knee that grabbed attention.

Britney and Kevin revealed all in a 2004 interview with People. Then 22, Britney had rounded up her world tour and the pair were jetting back to the States from Ireland.

It was then that the pair started talking about the future. ‘We were a couple hours into the flight, and we’d been talking the whole time, stuff about life, wanting to have kids, the future and everything like that,’ Britney told the magazine.

She continued: ‘Then all of a sudden, I said, “What if you want to get married?”. And I kind of went from there to asking him if he would marry me. I asked him.’

The rapper and wrestler was taken by surprise and initially turned down Britney’s offer because he thought it wasn’t ‘the right way’ to do a proposal.

Kevin got his thoughts in order a couple of minutes later and the pair agreed to wed while 30,000 feet in the air.

In September 2004, the pair made it official in an intimate ceremony. By 2006, they had two children together, Sean Preston and Jayden James.

But sparks eventually fizzled and in 2006, just weeks after the pair welcomed Sean Preston into the world, Britney filed for a divorce from Kevin.

2. Pink and Carey Hart 

Pop star Pink proposed to her husband Carey Hart with a sign that read: Will U Marry Me' (seen in 2017)

The two met after the 2001 X Games in Philadelphia and got engaged during one of Carey's races in 2005. They married in Costa Rica on January 7, 2006

Pink looked back on the trials and tribulations of her tumultuous marriage to the racer Carey Hart in a sweet Instagram post last month

In January, the three time Grammy award winner Pink celebrated her 18th wedding anniversary with husband Carey Hart.

They began their romance back in 2001, after they met at the seventh X Games when they were held in Philadelphia.

They had a tumultuous relationship even before getting married, which included a short split in 2003, but in 2005 it was Pink who did the proposing when she unveiled a sign reading ‘Will U Marry Me’ while Corey was in the middle of a race.

The couple tied the knot in Costa Rica on January 7, 2006.

Last month, Pink  looked back on the trials and tribulations of her tumultuous marriage to the racer Carey Hart in a sweet Instagram post from Sunday.

The 44-year-old singer–songwriter paid tribute to their union on the date of their 18th wedding anniversary, even as she admitted that they almost ‘didn’t make it’ several times along the way.

She included photos throughout the years of herself and the 48-year-old racer going back to their earliest days and tracing their 22-year romance.

‘Love is a lifetime of coming back to the table,’ she said. ‘We almost didn’t make it to this one, well a couple of them, if I’m being honest,’ the singer (real name: Alecia Beth Moore) began her caption.

‘When I met you, 22 years ago, I just wanted someone that wouldn’t lie to me,’ she continued, before admitting, ‘I didn’t have a clue about commitment, building a life together, intimacy, trust.

‘It’s f***ing hard,’ she emphasized.

But Pink said she was ‘humbled’ by the ‘loyalty, history, forgiveness, and resilience’ of Carey, which she said came as a ‘surprise’ to her.

She also marveled at ‘how love rearranges itself and reappears after an empty night or five.’

‘I’m proud we made it to the other side of this year,’ she declared. ‘I wear our scars proudly. You are my stubborn, beautiful, immovable rock.’

The Get The Party Started singer added that ‘The family we’ve built and the stories we have weaved together and the memories we continue to make are worth more than a thousand million awards that anyone could give me.

She concluded with a sweet note to her husband, writing: ‘I love you and I love us.’

3. Rita Ora and Taika Waititi

Mr and Mrs! Rita Ora has revealed she proposed to her husband Taika Waititi as the couple marked their first anniversary by sharing new details about their wedding (seen in May 2023)

Love is in the air! The couple tied the knot in an impromptu ceremony that they planned in just two weeks with eight people in attendance (seen in 2023)

Glam! Rita revealed she wore three different Tom Ford looks for her big day (pictured in a wedding dress for her You Only Love Me music video)

Pop icon Rita Ora was associated with several stars before settling down with Taika Waititi, from Rob Kardashian to Andrew Garfield and Calvin Harris.

Each of her previous relationships put her at the centre of media attention, but with film director and producer, Taika, the Hot Right Now singer approached things differently.

It was only on their first wedding anniversary that Rita revealed she proposed to her husband.

The couple tied the knot in an impromptu ceremony that they planned in just two weeks with eight people in attendance, after Rita popped the question during a trip to Palm Springs.

Vogue shared a gallery of images from the big day, with Rita revealing she wore three different looks by British designer Tom Ford, as she and Taika exchanged vows at their home in Los Angeles, despite reports that they’d married in London.

Taika revealed: ‘She proposed to me, and I said ”yes” instantly.’

Discussing the ceremony, the director added: ‘There were about eight people there – just close friends and family, and parents on Zoom.’

Rita’s sister Elena was a bridesmaid, while Taika’s best friend, actor Jermaine Clement, flew over from New Zealand for the ceremony.

For her big day, Rita donned a trip of looks from the British designer, saying: ‘He’s now one of my close friends, and I adore and admire him so much. To get married in his dress was a dream come true.

‘And because it wasn’t planned, I didn’t know if the right dress was even going to be in town, and I just took the risk and went to the Tom Ford shop, and they had it perfectly waiting with the veil, in my size, no alterations needed to be done.’

For the ceremony, Rita slipped into a beautiful white lace one-shouldered gown, teamed with chunky platform heels.

The star then changed into a dramatic frilled white dress with a plunging front for the reception, before changing into an eye-catching flared co-ord and lace bralet.

Rita went onto reveal that she wore her mother’s pearls with her wedding dress, while Taika wore a suit by Brunello Cucinelli.

Elena walked her sister down the aisle, while Taika was joined by his two daughters for the ceremony.

After being declared husband and wife, the newlyweds headed to their friend Guy Oseary’s house for a celebratory dinner, and were surprised with an Elvis impersonator who offered music for proceedings.

4. Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard 

Kristen Bell publicly requested Dax Shepard's hand in marriage after the Supreme Court ruling in favour of same sex marriage (seen in 2019 at the Golden Globe Awards)

The Hollywood star now has two daughter's with Dax. The pair are pictured in 2014 at a Beverley Hills premiere

Dax had previously asked Kristen to marry him, but she wanted to wait until same-sex marriages developed the same benefits that heterosexual couples (seen in 2019)

In 2013, Kristen Bell followed a long line of ladies by popping the question to her boyfriend. However, their proposal differed to the rest.

Kristen asked Dax to marry her on Twitter in celebration of the Supreme Court ruling in favor of same sex marriage.

The pair got engaged in 2009 after two years of dating but vowed to wait until gay marriage was legal in their home state of California as a gesture of respect to their close friends.

The Veronica Mars star, 43, and comedian, 49, now have a two daughters, Delta, nine, and Lincoln, eight.

Bell was among many rejoicing the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act in a landmark 5-4 decision.

They followed that up with a ruling against California’s controversial Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in the state, meaning that gay marriage is now legal in California.

By striking down DOMA, the Supreme Court effectively ruled that it was not legal to prevent same-sex spouses from receiving the same benefits that heterosexual couples receive. 

Kristen has famously said in the past that she wouldn’t wed until it was legal for all, telling The Advocate: ‘The reason we’re not rushing to get married is because I don’t feel appropriate taking advantage of a right that’s denied to my best friends. 

‘That’s why we’ve been so hesitant. Dax and I have talked about it a lot, and this issue is very important to both of us. We’re just standing up for what we believe in. Period.’ 

But after the ruling was passed, Kristen took it upon herself to ask Dax to marry her, and he said yes.    

5. Billie Piper and Chris Evans 

Billie Piper proposed to Chris Evans at the age of 18. The pair are pictured in London, 2001 during a trip to the pub

Multi-millionaire media tycoon Chris Evans married singer Billie Piper in 2001 after she proposed to him.

Billie, aged 18 at the time, popped the question to the DJ and TV star during a trip to Paris to celebrate his 35th birthday on April 1.

The couple, who had been together for just four months, officially tied the knot at a Las Vegas ceremony.

The pair first met in 2000 when she appeared on his TV show TFI Friday. Their relationship began after she went on his radio show in December to promote her single Walk Of Life.

In the prime of their relationship, Billie was said to spend most of her time between Evans’ home in Surrey and his flat in London.

The marriage to Billie would be the second time Evans has tied the knot.

He wed DJ Carol McGiffin in 1991 before he became famous as the original presenter on the Channel 4 Big Breakfast show. The couple divorced in 1998.

He later went on to take over the Radio One Breakfast Show, host Channel 4’s TFI Friday and start his own company, Ginger Productions. He is now boss of Virgin Radio.

Evans has been romantically linked with a number of celebrities before he met Billie – he had a highly-publicised romance with former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell, and dated with TV presenter Melanie Sykes and actress Anna Friel.

Billie was previously engaged to Five Star Ritchie Neville, from whom she split last year.

The whirlwind marriage sadly didn’t last, and the pair divorced in 2007.

6. Sarah Snook and Dave Lawson

Succession star Sarah Snook revealed she took matters into her own hands when it came to proposing to her best friend Dave Lawson

Sarah and Dave realized they had feelings for one another in lockdown after being friends since 2014 (seen in 2021)

Unlike her disingenuous relationship on the hit HBO series Succession, Sarah Snook has quite the love story off camera.

But in true style of her on-screen character Siobhan Roy, she took matters into her own hands and popped the question to Dave Lawson.

Reflecting on the journey, the Australian actress spoke with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on This Morning in 2021 as she gushed their partnership ‘works so well’.

The Australian star said: ‘It was that or nothing. It was like, ‘I’ve got to be in. I’m all in and I’m here.”

Sarah added that the newlyweds weren’t expecting to fall in love and that it happened quite naturally: ‘We’re very blindsided by it, we fell in love and it was the only option – we couldn’t be apart.’

Sarah first revealed she’d tied the knot with Dave in an interview with Vogue Australia.

She told the publication: ‘At the beginning of the pandemic last year, I got locked down in Melbourne with one of my best mates and we fell in love.

‘We’ve been friends since 2014, lived together, travelled together, always excited to see each other, but totally platonic.’

Sarah added that the stars aligned and a romance between the pair arose.

‘We’ve just never been single at the same time,’ she explained. It’s been a ride. There’s so much heartache and sadness in the world, but on a micro personal level, I’ve been very fortunate.’

7. Diane von Furstenberg and Barry Diller 

Belgian fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg popped the question to Barry Diller as a birthday present. They are pictured at the  America Literary Gala at American Museum of Natural History in 2023

After Diane requested Barry's hand in marriage, the pair have since been happily married for 22 years. The pair are pictured in 2019

Belgian fashion icon, Diane von Furstenberg, rose to fame in 1969 after she wed into the German princely House of Furstenberg, as the wife of Prince Egon von Furstenberg.

But it was her second marriage to American businessman Barry Diller, 82, that lasted the test of time.

Infatuated with his partner, Barry had proposed to Diane several times before they tied the knot, but she declined. And when the right time eventually came, it was Diane that navigated the plan.

In a 2014 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Diana revealed that she always knew Barry was the one she wanted to spend the rest of her life with, despite turning down his proposals for marriage.

So, one year, she decided to give Barry the greatest gift of all for his birthday – her hand in marriage.

Admittedly, she settled on the idea because she couldn’t decide what to get him for his special day. However, the present was largely successful, and the pair remained married today.

According to E!, In the interview with Oprah, Diane recalled: ‘I called him and said, ‘You know, if you want, for your birthday I’ll marry you.” Barry joked and replied: ‘Let me see if I can arrange it.’

In their 22 years of marriage, Diane and Barry have set up a philanthropic enterprise called The Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation, aimed at strengthening communities.

8. Elizabeth Taylor and Michael Wilding 

British-born American actress Elizabeth Taylor proposed to her second husband Michael Wilding

Known for her glistening career on the silver screen, Elizabeth Taylor lived a life of abundance. And that didn’t stop when it came to marriage.

At 18-years-old, Elizabeth married her first husband Conrad Hilton and got her first four-carat diamond ring.

They honeymooned in Europe, but the thrill was gone within just two weeks, when Hilton virtually abandoned her and went on a drink and gambling binge. He soon became abusive and kicked her in the stomach causing a miscarriage.

In 1952, Taylor married the British actor Michael Wilding at a London registry office, who was 20 years her senior.

And it was Elizabeth that popped the question to Michael, according to The Guardian. The pair went on to have two sons, Michael, and Christopher.

However, given the age difference the couple had little in common, so little that, according to the author, Taylor had an affair with Frank Sinatra, and got pregnant.

In 1957, the same year her marriage with Wilding ended, Elizabeth moved on quickly, marrying film producer Mike Todd and honeymooning in Acapulco, Mexico.

But 13 months after their March 1958 marriage, Todd was killed in a plane crash.

In 1959, the popular young crooner Eddie Fisher infamously ended his marriage with Debbie Reynolds and married Elizabeth.

Elizabeth had become famous at age 12 after playing the lead in the film, National Velvet in 1944, but she felt abused with the MGM studio system that addicted their young stars to pills – amphetamines and sedatives.

Several times she came back from the dead from illnesses and suicide attempts and overdoses, heart attacks, three hip replacements, and more.

‘I’ve been through it all, baby. I’m Mother Courage. I’ll be dragging a sable coat behind me into old age,’ she said, according to the author.

In March 2011, Elizabeth Taylor suffered congestive heart failure, and died six weeks later.

9. Judge Judy and Jerry Sheindlin  

The 81-year-old court show star - whose real name is Judy Sheindlin - popped the question to her husband Jerry Sheindilin. The pair are pictured at the the 46th annual Daytime Emmy Awards 2019 in Pasadena, California

Judy previously revealed her secrets to a long-lasting marriage - adding that she still admires how attractive her 90-year-old husband is when he walks into a room (seen in 2012)

Judge Judy, real name Judy Sheindlin, went against the norm and proposed to her second husband, Jerry Sheindlin in 1978.

Judy, 81, and Jerry, 91, continue to have a strong relationship and have five children together. The couple tied the knot in 1977 after meeting at a bar.

It was in an interview with DuJour that Judy revealed she popped the question to Jerry herself, according to HuffPost.

She admitted that Jerry tried to get out of it, but eventually he caved in. And it’s paid off because the couple have enjoyed years of a successful marriage.

Last month, Judy shared how she keeps the spark alive in her marriage – after celebrating 46 years of being wed.

The 81-year-old court show star lifted the lid on her relationship with her husband of nearly five decades, Jerry.

The judge has reminded people that love has ups and downs - revealing she and Jerry divorced for a brief period in the 90s, but quickly found their way back to each other (seen in 2015)

Judy revealed her secrets to a long-lasting marriage – adding that she still admires how attractive her 90-year-old husband is when he walks into a room.

The judge reminded people that love has ups and downs – revealing she and Jerry divorced for a brief period in the 90s, but quickly found their way back to each other and rekindled their marriage.

In an interview with E! News, the TV personality shared her advice for having a happy marriage.

She noted that you should always make time for yourself in a relationship because a losing your sense of independence could mean trouble for your romance. ‘You don’t spend 24 hours together because that’s deadly,’ she said.

The judge also noted that being attractive to each other even after all these years later was ‘key.’ ‘Jerry just celebrated his 90th birthday, and I still like to look at him when he walks in the room — that’s a key,’ she added.

Jerry recalled their first meeting to the Los Angeles Times: ‘I just finished trying a murder case as a defense lawyer. She was a prosecutor. There was a reporter from the New York Post there at the bar, and I was speaking to him about the case.

‘Judy came walking in and put her finger in my face and said, ‘And who is this?’ I said, ‘Lady, get your finger out of my face.’ We’ve been together ever since.’

In the past, Judy has spoken about why staying in shape during her relationship was so important to her.

In 2021, she told People, ‘We’re both very surface people when it comes to that.

‘You know, if you fall instantaneously for somebody, that means there’s a physical attraction. And people age, people they change, you can either do it gracefully or you can say, ‘I give up.’

‘And I, for myself, I said, ‘I choose to not give up; I choose to stay fit.’

‘So don’t even think about anything but staying, looking as good as you can possibly look at this stage in your life.’

The couple share children from previous relationships. Judy who was previously married to Ronald Levy, has two kids: Jamie Hartwright, 58, and Adam Levy, 56.

Meanwhile, Jerry has three from another marriage: Gregory, 60; Jonathan, 57; and Nicole, 56.

10. Jennifer Hudson and David Otunga 

Jennifer popped the question back to David five months after he first asked. The couple were together for nearly a decade, from 2008- to 2017, but since their split they been consumed by disputes (pictured February 2015)

The details of the custody arrangement have been kept secret, after Jennifer and David signed a gag order in 2017, which prevents them from speaking publicly about the case (pictured with son David Jr in 2016)

Jennifer Hudson and David Otunga enjoyed a relationship spanning a decade before the relationship turned sour.

But before the allegations of violence, a restraining order, and a custody battle, the pair were engaged for nine years.

And on Jennifer’s 27th birthday, David proposed to her. While she took him up on his offer and donned a ring, she rejected the norm and proposed right back five months later.

The Grammy-winning singer returned the gift of a luxury ring and proposed with a personalised Neil Lane five carat ring, according to People.

The couple were together for nearly a decade, from 2008- to 2017, but since their split they been consumed by disputes.

Their custody battle began when the former couple split in November 2017 – Jennifer filed for an emergency protection order after she claimed David pushed her while holding their son.

A source said at the time: ‘[They] have been in the process of ending their relationship for a number of months … Jennifer’s actions are solely taken in the best interest of their son. Please respect her privacy at this time.’

A temporary order was granted, though she later dropped the request, and Otunga has consistently denied the allegation, as well as claims of abuse and harassment.

Following a police investigation, he was cleared of any crimes.

David’s attorney claimed the singer had ‘decided to file a meritless Petition for Order of Protection in an effort to gain an unfair advantage in the custody dispute.’

The American Idol star also claimed in court documents that her former partner checked their son out of school and left town without alerting her, leading her to fear he might attempt to transport the child out of the state.

In response, David claimed it was all an effort to soil his name. He procured text messages he sent to Jennifer at the time in which he mentioned leaving school for an event, to which she allegedly replied, ‘Ok thank u for keeping me posted.’

The acrimony has continued throughout the custody battle, with David and The Voice judge filing various motions against one another, accusing each other of playing legal games.

Jennifer previously accused David of making their son scan the room with an iPad to see if there were men with her and alleged he kept a gun in their home in a bid to ‘intimidate her.’

Both kickstarted their careers on reality competitions – Hudson placed seventh on Fox’s American Idol in (2004), and Otunga placed third on VH1’s I Love New York 2 (2007).

Though Otunga’s acting career is limited to a few appearances as himself on TV and a handful of small film roles, he was formerly a wrestler for the WWE and continues to work for the organization as a commentator.

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