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Bindi Irwin says she kept maiden name to honor late dad

Bindi Irwin (R), pictured with Chandler Powell, explained her decision to keep her last name and shared how paparazzi disrupted her wedding. File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI
Bindi Irwin (R), pictured with Chandler Powell, explained her decision to keep her last name and shared how paparazzi disrupted her wedding. File Photo by Christine Chew/UPI | License Photo

June 1 (UPI) -- Bindi Irwin says she's keeping her maiden name as a way to honor her late dad, Steve Irwin.

The 21-year-old television personality and conservationist explained her decision to keep her last name in an interview with Entertainment Tonight following her wedding to Chandler Powell.

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"I've kept Bindi Irwin," Irwin said. "I think that for me personally, after dad passed away it was really important for me to feel close to him, and having his last name means so much to me."

"Chandler has become an Irwin now," she added. "It has become a part of me. Everyone has their own ideas, but the nice thing is that it's 2020 now, anything works!"

Irwin and Powell married at an intimate wedding at the Australia Zoo in March. Irwin's mom, Terri Irwin, and brother, Robert Irwin, were the only guests in attendance, as Irwin and Powell had to change their wedding plans due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Irwin honored her late dad by lighting a candle during the 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. We shared tears and smiles and love," she said on Instagram.

Over the weekend, Irwin shared on Instagram how paparazzi disrupted her wedding to Powell.

"We changed our wedding date the night before we got married but we were determined to let love win. Everything from the cake to the flowers were different," the star said.

"On our wedding day we were finally about to get married and the paparazzi flew over us in a helicopter scaring our wildlife. We had to leave our stunning wedding venue on the African Savannah for their safety. I said goodbye to the place I had dreamed of getting married for so many years," she added.

Irwin said the Australia Zoo crew helped them move the wedding from the African savannah area to the filming barn after the intrusion.

"At one point I sat on a chair in the corner doing my best not to think about how overwhelming things seemed. I missed the people who couldn't be there, my dad, Chandler's family, our dear friends, my family," Irwin said. "Chandler stopped what he was doing and sat next to me. I asked him to list me happy things. He proceeded to remind me that love ALWAYS wins."

"Despite everything, we got married and I'll forever be grateful. Sure, thing weren't perfect but that's life," she added. "We were overcoming great obstacles to prove that unconditional love is the most important foundation."

Irwin and her family came to fame on the Animal Planet series The Crocodile Hunter. Steve Irwin died at age 44 in September 2006. Irwin, her mom and brother now star on Crikey! It's the Irwins.

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