Frances Abbott spills on shock engagement
TONY Abbott's daughter Frances has opened up about her surprise engagement to former Olympic rower Sam Loch just two weeks after their first meeting.
"He said, 'Why aren't you asking me why I'm holding champagne?' So I said, 'OK ... why are you holding champagne?' He said, 'Well, I thought we could drink it after I asked you to marry me'," Abbott said.
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW OVER AT STELLARMAG.COM.AU
The couple have since moved in together, selected an engagement ring and plan to get married next year.
They met through a mutual friend who thought the pair would get along. Abbott made the first move and sent him a message. Their first date, in mid-October, was over a coffee.
"Everyone's like, 'Wow, this is really fast'," Abbott said.
"But it feels so natural to me. His energy, it's so grounding. When I am around him, I am like, 'This is what it's meant to be like.' Life is short, and love is special, and sometimes you just need to follow your instincts."
Loch, 34, is a former professional rower who has competed in both the 2008 and 2012 Olympics.
He's now a weightlifter, clocking around 120kg on the scales and is training for an upcoming weightlifting competition.
Abbott said Loch has met her father and the pair get along well.
"I think meeting Tones can be quite intimidating for anyone, but that's what I love about Sam," Abbott said.
"He's so grounded, and so settled in his own skin, it felt totally natural. There was no change in [Sam's] voice, no sitting upright. Dad liked him. Dad likes everyone, but I think he was particularly - well, Dad is a rower. He was like, straight away, 'Let's talk about rowing.'"
But her mother expressed some concern about the speed of the engagement.
The announcement stunned Abbott's followers - more than 10,000 people follow her Instagram account Not Another Fitness Blogger - after she described herself as "so single" in an interview in the current issue of Harper's Bazaar Australia.
"I always describe myself as 'so single', because that's how single I am. Like, very, very single. But I also think it's probably the best time to compete, because I don't have a guy saying, 'Let's go get some dinner!'" she told the magazine, explaining her ultra-healthy lifestyle.
Abbott has made headlines this year for publicly supporting same-sex marriage, going against her father's own views.
But both Abbotts have learnt to respectfully disagree with each other.
The former PM has previously gone on the record saying he's proud of the fact his daughter is an independent woman with her own views about the world.
"Sometimes I think having too much of an opinion can make you more narrow minded. I don't want to make my mind up about something until I have explored every option," she told Stellar.
"I am creating my own ideas and forging my own path. I will continue to disagree with [my parents] on many things, I am sure, and that's how they have raised me to be."
She said falling in love has strengthened her belief in the LGBTIQ community's right to marry.
"I was looking over at Sam, and I guess that summed it all up for me," she said of the moment Australia
"Meeting this person and falling in love with him and then the thought of [same-sex couples] not being able to marry made it so much more real."
Read the full interview over at stellarmag.com.au. Stellar is available every Sunday in the Sunday Telegraph, Sunday Herald Sun and Sunday Mail.