It’s official: Great Britain is about to land another princess.
Clarence House, Prince Charles’ official residence in Westminster, announced earlier today that Prince William of Wales is engaged to longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton. Middleton, who met the prince when both were students at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, will be the first commoner to marry an heir to the British throne in more than 350 years.
“The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton,” read the press statement from Clarence House. “The wedding will take place in the spring or summer of 2011 in London. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course.”
Prince William, 28, reportedly gave to Middleton the blue oval sapphire and diamond engagement ring that his father, Charles, had given to his mother, the late Princess Diana, nearly three decades earlier. He proposed last month, during the couple’s vacation in Kenya.
The prince revealed in a joint TV interview with Middleton that the pair had been discussing the possibility of marriage for more than a year. “As every guy out there will know, it takes time, a certain amount of motivation, to get yourself going. It just felt really right out in Africa and was beautiful at the time,” William said.
Buckingham Palace announced in a press statement that Queen Elizabeth II and husband Prince Philip were “absolutely delighted for them both”, while the Associated Press quoted Prince Charles as saying he was “absolutely thrilled”.
Prince William and Middleton, also 28, began dating in 2003. They reportedly broke up in 2007, but only temporarily.
Kate Middleton (officially Catherine Elizabeth Middleton) currently works for her family’s firm, Party Pieces, a mail-order company selling party supplies. She has become renowned for her fashion style, having appeared on best-dressed lists for People, Style, and The Daily Telegraph.
Prince William of Wales is second in line to the British throne after his father, Prince Charles.
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