We got there in the end darling! Kate and Wills finally announce their engagement after eight years together
By REBECCA ENGLISH
Last updated at 1:33 AM on 17th November 2010
Last updated at 1:33 AM on 17th November 2010
- Couple became engaged in Kenya last month
- William asked Kate's father for her hand
- She will formally be called Catherine
- The Royal wedding will be in spring or summer
- Kate and William will live in north Wales once married
Nine years after they met in a friend’s university digs, the romance between Prince William and Kate Middleton has finally been sealed with a ring.
Yesterday’s long-awaited announcement of their engagement came after years of fevered speculation and spanned at least one very public – and for Kate at least very painful – break-up.
For a month after William proposed to Kate, offering her the same engagement ring worn by his late mother Diana, the only other person in the know was Kate’s father Michael, whose permission William went on to seek.
Look of love: Kate Middleton gazes into the eyes of Prince William as the couple met the press yesterday
The eyes have it: Prince William and Kate Middleton speak of their engagement joy
Owing to the couple’s intense desire for secrecy, even the Queen and Prince Charles were kept in the dark.
They were informed in a telephone call at 7.30am yesterday – just two and a half hours before the engagement was made public.
The Queen swiftly declared herself ‘delighted’ and Charles said he was ‘thrilled’, quipping: ‘They have been practising long enough.’
For his part, Prince Harry just swore in shock but later said he was delighted to be gaining a ‘sister’.
The wedding will be held next year in London, probably at Westminster Abbey, but the couple have made no firm decision on venue or date. It could even be held as early as March.
Taking it in their stride: Kate and William parade in front of the world's media
Last night in a revealing TV interview, Kate admitted how hurt she had been when the couple split in 2007. It is now clear that it was William who precipitated the split.
She told ITV: ‘I, at the time, wasn’t very happy about it but actually it made me a stronger person. You find out things about yourself that maybe you hadn’t realised.’
The couple rekindled their romance after a few months apart and, last month, William surprised Kate – or Catherine as she will now be known – with his late mother’s ring after smuggling it in his rucksack on an African safari.
The 28-year-old chose the priceless diamond-encrusted sapphire as a way of including Diana in the ‘excitement’ of his proposal.
It was, he said, a very special heirloom and Kate is ‘a very special person to me’.
‘It was my way of making sure my mother didn’t miss out on today, and the excitement and the fact that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together.’
In the spotlight: Kate, now to be known as Catherine, posed arm in arm with the Prince
His gesture did, however, precipitate several moments of panic during the holiday when members of the public offered to carry his bag.
Queen Elizabeth II smiles as she is congratulated on the news of Prince Williams engagement to Kate Middleton at Windsor Castle yesterday
William said: ‘I had been carrying it around with me in my rucksack for about three weeks before that and I literally would not let it go, everywhere I went I was keeping hold of it because I knew if this thing disappeared, I would be in a lot of trouble.’
Kate, also 28, described the proposal as ‘extremely romantic’ and insisted it was a complete surprise.
The couple had been holidaying on the Lewa Downs wildlife conservancy, owned by the family of William’s former girlfriend Jecca Craig, with a group of friends.
They were staying in an open-air Masai lodge called Il Ngwesi, from where William hired a helicopter to take them to a remote lake on the slopes of Mount Kenya where he proposed 12,000ft above sea level.
Although the proposal took place early last month, the couple postponed any public announcement following the unexpected death of Kate’s grandfather, whose funeral took place on Friday.
The wedding, which will take place at St Paul’s Cathedral if not Westminster Abbey, will be the biggest royal event since William’s parents walked down the aisle 30 years earlier.
A royal aide said: ‘There has been much talk about it being a frugal occasion and while they will keep an eye on the cost, they are aware this will be a state occasion and want people to share in their happiness.’
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1330340/Royal-Wedding-Prince-William-Kate-Middleton-engaged-marry-2011.html#ixzz15VaSNAYa