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Prince William announces engagement, proposed with mom's ring

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Her prince has come around.

Commoner Kate Middleton and Prince William, both 28, became engaged while on vacation in Kenya last month, and are said to be planning a late spring or summer wedding in London.

The royal merger was sealed with an 18-carat sapphire and diamond ring that his father, Prince Charles, gave to William’s mother, Princess Diana, upon their engagement 30 years ago. The ring, William told the British press, was a way to make sure his mother, who died in 1997 while being chased by paparazzi, “didn’t miss out on the excitement.”

The couple met at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland and are believed to have been dating since 2003. William, second in line to become king after his father, Tuesday explained his decision to pop the question: “It takes time (and) a certain amount of motivation to get yourself going. It just felt really right out in Africa.”

The proposal “was a total shock when it came, and very exciting,” said Middleton.

The bride’s family owns a party planning business, though it was not known what role they might play in what will be the biggest wedding in Britain since Charles married Diana in 1981. No details were released.

Prime Minister David Cameron said that when he announced the news during a Cabinet meeting, he was greeted with cheers and “a great banging of the table.” He heralded the nuptials as a “great moment of national celebration.”

While most Brits were thrilled at the prospect of a royal wedding to take their minds off the dour economy, Graham Smith, of the anti-monarchy group Republic, said: “They need to pay for this event entirely themselves and not try to use it as some sort of PR exercise for the monarchy.”

(With Emma Diab)

 

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Name: Catherine Elizabeth “Kate” Middleton

Age: 28

Hometown: Bucklebury Village in southeast England.

Tabloid nickname: "Waity Katey” because of her years “waiting” for Will to propose.

Parents: Carole and Michael Middleton. Their party supply company, Party Pieces, made them millionaires.

Siblings: Kate, the oldest, has a sister, Philippa "Pippa", and a brother, James.

Education: Kate studied Art History at Saint Andrew’s University in Scotland, along with Will.

Occupation: Works in the office at her parents’ company.

Style: Conservative dresser who wears little makeup.

Charity: Involved in Starlight Children’s Foundation, which plans special events for terminally ill children.

Moment that didn’t amuse Queen: Once took to the runway in her underwear for a student-run charity fashion show

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Top 5 embarrassing things that could happen as their wedding:

Prince Harry might get drunk and wear a swastika

When prompted by the officiant, Prince William waits nine more years to answer, “I do.”

The party decoration company owned by Middleton’s family insists on supplying piñatas and “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.”

William rides a polo horse down the aisle

Ninety percent of the guests have their views of the ceremony blocked by Queen Elizabeth’s hat.

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