The Transformation Of Bindi Irwin From Infancy To 22 Years Old

Bindi Irwin has spent much of her life in front of television cameras. Her late father, Steve Irwin, was known as "The Crocodile Hunter" and he had already established that persona with his wife, Terri, by the time Bindi was born. It's been a life filled with plenty of joy and some intense heartbreak, but Bindi's always handled developments in her life with grace.

The Crocodile Hunter site notes that Terri and Steve first met in 1991 when she visited his family's wildlife park from the U.S. The sparks flew immediately, but she returned home to Oregon after that first meeting. Terri and Steve reunited in February 1992 when she traveled back to Australia and he wasted no time in proposing. Steve and Terri's wedding came just four months later, but they waited until 1998 to have their first child, Bindi.

Steve and Terri doted on their baby girl during those early days and she was immediately included in the family's wildlife park, filming efforts, and passion for wildlife conservation. A few years later, in December 2003, baby Robert was born and she was seemingly a loving big sister immediately upon meeting her little brother.

A daddy's girl from the get-go

As soon as Bindi Irwin was born, she was included in filming her family's shows, per Homes to Love, who conducted an interview with the star. An early photo shared by the outlet showed Steve Irwin filming and holding up what appeared to be a car seat with a baby Bindi strapped in for safety. The special connection that Bindi and her dad shared was obvious during those early years together, with him lovingly talking to her on TV and describing how he ran around the hospital showing her off after she was born.

Bindi described her father as the "most hard-working person I know" and called him a "superhero." She worked at the zoo alongside her parents as a young child, giving tours, doing shows, and cleaning up after the animals. Long before Steve died, Bindi knew she wanted to follow in her father's footsteps.

"I think that I've kind-of had an idea of what I want to do with my life since I was about 4 or 5, it's in my blood. And growing up with mom, and dad especially, I don't think it was even a consideration to become an astronaut or a ballet dancer," Bindi said during a clip for "Oprah: Where Are They Now?".

A massive loss and a passion for continuing her father's legacy

Sadly, Steve Irwin died on September 4, 2006 after an encounter with a stingray, detailed The Guardian. Bindi was only 8 at the time of the tragic accident, and she had already developed a passion for animals and the work her parents did. Steve's death left Bindi all the more determined to follow in her father's footsteps.

Bindi had a big personality and plenty of confidence, even at her young age. She decided that she wanted to share a eulogy for her dad at his memorial service, and she bravely made it happen. As The Guardian noted, she did it in front of 300 million people watching via television and another 5,000 people who were there in person. Bindi tugged at everybody's heartstrings with her bravery and powerful words, and the crowd gave her a standing ovation.

"I have the best daddy in the whole wide world and I will miss him every day ... I don't want daddy's passion to ever end — I want to help endangered wildlife just like he did," Bindi read.

A key friendship develops as Steve Irwin's legacy lives on

Bindi Irwin worked with her mom and brother to carry on her father's legacy after his devastating death, shared The Daily Telegraph. The crocodile show at the Australia Zoo included footage of Steve Irwin from his days as "The Crocodile Hunter," and the family continued the projects that he'd started before his death. Steve's big personality remained a part of the wildlife park and that was challenging for Bindi and her family at times.

"Some days you feel the grief more than others. What gets to me are those moments when I'd love him to be here to share what we're doing ... I'll think: 'I wish Dad was here for this.' But he's just not there," Bindi explained.

In November 2013, when Bindi was 15, she was working at the Australia Zoo, as was typical for her. She didn't know it at the time, but that day would change her life. In an Instagram post, Bindi detailed that "legendary wakeboarder" Chandler Powell had visited the zoo with his family. Apparently, this first meeting was contained some sparks of chemistry. Much like how her parents met, the two took that zoo visit and turned it into a long-distance romance.

Bindi Irwin hits the dance floor and goes public with her beau

When she was 17, Bindi Irwin embraced the opportunity to do "Dancing with the Stars," noted ABC. Bindi approached it with her typical charm and determination, and she had her loved ones by her side. Bindi's mom, Terri, and younger brother Robert cheered her on throughout the competition. Her beau, Chandler Powell, was there as well. The couple kept their romance pretty quiet for the first couple of years, but they didn't try to hide it on "DWTS."

Throughout her run of the dance competition, Bindi honored her father. During the show's "Most Memorable Year" theme week, she opened up about losing her father.

"Well, what shaped me the most would probably be when my dad passed away. It's been nine years, and I've never really dwelled on that point when he did pass away. So, I think that I'm ready to kind of tell that story," Bindi told her "DWTS" partner Derek Hough.

Bindi shared that she had wanted to be just like her dad from the time she was little, and her mom Terri said the father and daughter pair had been inseparable.

"It took a really long time to understand what actually happened. For the rest of my life, I'll kind of feel like he's going to come home," a tearful Bindi explained. Bindi's tributes to her father often left everybody in tears, and she ultimately won her season of "Dancing with the Stars."

A magical moment comes on a significant birthday

Chandler Powell officially moved to Australia in 2018 to be with Bindi Irwin, detailed People.

"I think I have found my one, and I'm so lucky. He is always encouraging me to follow my dreams, reminding me to stand up for what I believe in. I'm truly proud of Chandler because he is always unbelievably kind and optimistic. He is there no matter what," Bindi said of Powell's commitment to her and her family.

It didn't take long after Powell's move for him to take the next big step in this relationship. On Bindi's birthday, as she turned 21 in July 2019, he proposed.

"On my birthday I said 'yes' & 'forever' to the love of my life. Chandler, close to 6 years ago I fell in love with you & every day since has been a whirlwind of adventure & true happiness. Here's to a lifetime of friendship, purpose & unconditional love," Bindi shared via Twitter.

Powell told People that they'd celebrated Bindi's birthday at the Australia Zoo and planned a photoshoot to celebrate her turning 21.

"Just before we started the shoot, I took her to a special part of Australia Zoo to ask the girl of my dreams to become my wife. These past five years together have been the best of my life and we look forward to a lifetime of magical moments to come," Powell shared.

Wedding bells ring at the Australia Zoo

Bindi Irwin and Chandler Powell spent a year planning their wedding and faced some setbacks due to the coronavirus pandemic, as she noted on Instagram. On May 25, 2020, the two held a small wedding at the Australia Zoo.

"We've planned this beautiful day for nearly a year and had to change everything, as we didn't have guests at our wedding. This was a very difficult decision but important to keep everyone safe," the bride detailed in her post.

The newlyweds shared plenty of updates with fans via both social media and a special episode of the family's Animal Planet series, "Crikey! It's the Irwins."

"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," Bindi revealed. As People detailed, the only guests in attendance for what the couple deemed to be "our perfect" nuptials were Bindi's mom, her brother, and Wes Mannion, the best friend of her late father.

"The first time I saw Bindi in that dress was the most beautiful sight in the world. I immediately teared up. Nothing has ever felt more right than that moment in time," Powell told the outlet.

A 'new life chapter' begins

A few months after Bindi Irwin married Chandler Powell, they announced they were expecting their first child. The photo of the newlyweds showed them with an infant-sized khaki shirt and they revealed that "Baby Wildlife Warrior" was due in 2021. It was early in Bindi's pregnancy, but she noted she wanted her fans "to be part of our journey from the beginning of this new life chapter."

A sweet gender reveal post detailed that Bindi and her husband were expecting a girl, and she shared bump updates throughout her pregnancy. The Instagram announcement of the baby's birth revealed a precious tidbit about the day she arrived."Happy first wedding anniversary to my sweetheart husband and day of birth to our wonderful daughter. Grace Warrior Irwin Powell," Bindi wrote.

Bindi shared that the name Grace was a nod to both her great-grandmother as well as relatives on the Powell side. She also said the baby had a "kind soul just like her dad."

"Her middle names, Warrior Irwin, are a tribute to my dad and his legacy as the most incredible Wildlife Warrior," she added. Bindi explained that baby Grace "chose the perfect day to be born" and said the couple felt "tremendously blessed."

Bindi's transformation from her birth until the birth of her daughter Grace was an incredible one. It was clearly influenced at every stage by the love she had for her father as well as the passion he had for wildlife conservation.