Was this the first couple to have a civil partnership conversion?

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

As same-sex couples in England and Wales wake up to the option of converting their civil partnership to marriage today, this couple already have champagne glasses in their hands.

Jamie Newton and Hayley Mitchell converted their civil partnership at 11:30 this morning at the British consulate in Sydney, when it was just 00:30 in the UK.

After meeting online, Mitchell moved to Australia and the couple entering a civil partnership in 2013, surrounded by family and friends.

Couple Social

The couple converted their civil partnership at 11:30, Sydney time

Newton told PinkNews that they “both wanted the conversion from the civil partnership to marriage desperately as marriage is steeped in tradition.”

She said they felt “very lucky to be the first couple to convert, which makes our special day even more wonderful.”

After converting their civil partnership to marriage, the couple enjoyed a champagne lunch at Sydney harbour.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg told PinkNews that he was “proud” of same-sex marriage, and that he hoped to “send a message of solidarity to LGBT people everywhere”.

Education Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan wrote exclusively for PinkNews along with the Skills and Equalities Minister Nick Boles to explain why today will go down in LGBT rights history.