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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

William & Kate's Relaxed Post-Engagement Interview

With My Mother's Ring I Thee Wed: Prince's Moving Tribute To Diana As He Announces Royal Wedding Next Year

He added: 'The timing is right now, we are both very, very happy.'

Kate said that joining the Royal Family was a 'daunting prospect' but added: 'Hopefully I'll take it in my stride and William's a great teacher so hopefully he'll be able to help me along the way.

'I'm really looking forward to spending my time with William.'

The Prince added: 'She's very good at flattery.'

Asked about the proposal, Kate said: 'It was very romantic, and it was very personal.'

Questioned if he got down on one knee to propose, William replied: 'That's going to stay a secret.'

Asked about why they decided to marry now, and how long they have been dating, William said: 'I don't remember how many years it's been, forgetful memory.

'I also didn't realise it was a race, otherwise I probably would have been a lot quicker, but also the time is right now, we're both very, very happy, and I'm very glad that I have done it.'

Miss Middleton added: 'Obviously we have been going out a long time and, you know, we had spoken about our future and it just seemed the natural step for both of us.'

On their relationship William said: 'Obviously we both have a very fun time together, both have a very good sense of humour about things, we're down to earth, we take the mickey out of each other a lot, and she's got plenty of habits that make me laugh that I tease her about.'

Kate added: 'All of the same, but you know, over the years William has looked after me, he's treated me very well, as the loving boyfriend he is, he is very supportive of me through the good times and also through the bad times.'

Moments earlier the couple had spent a few minutes in a private meeting with journalists as William introduced his fiancee to the press.

Kate was dressed in an eye-catching blue dress from the Issa fashion label founded by Brazilian designer Daniella Issa Helayel. The designer is known to be one of Kate's favourites.

William looked smart in a dark suit by Savile Row tailors Gieves & Hawkes, who have dressed members of the royal family for more than 200 years.

Kate, also 28, had been dubbed 'Waity Katy' amid criticism she was hanging on for a proposal and did not have a proper job but now her wait is finally over.

She will formally be known as Catherine from now on.

David Cameron said William is 'extremely excited' and 'thrilled' as he appeared outside No10 to welcome the news this lunchtime.

The marriage will be the biggest royal event since the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana in 1981.

It is hoped the ceremony will give a huge boost to the nation and the economy as crippling public sector spending cuts hit home.

Bookies have made August 13th the early favourite for the wedding date and it is likely to take place at Westminster Abbey.

It is claimed personnel at the Abbey have already been contacted about a royal wedding in the second week of August, although St Paul's and Windsor Castle are other potential venues.

The Queen and the Queen Mother were both married in the Abbey but it also carries painful memories of William's mother's funeral in 1997.

Charles and Diana's fairytale ceremony was at St Paul's which has also been the recent location for major royal celebrations such as the Queen's 80th birthday.

In a full statement, Clarence House said: 'The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton.

'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 and Miss Middleton became engaged in October during a private holiday in Kenya.

'Prince William has informed The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince William has also sought the permission of Miss Middleton's father.

'Following the marriage, the couple will live in North Wales, where Prince William will continue to serve with the Royal Air Force.'

The engagement was also officially announced simultaneously on Facebook and Twitter, coming days after the Queen signed up to the social networking site.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: 'Both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are absolutely delighted for them both.'

Prince Charles, in Dorset, said he was 'thrilled' and joked that the couple had been 'practicing long enough'.

His wife Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, on her way into a theatre in central London, added: 'It's the most brilliant news. I'm just so happy and so are they. It's wicked.'

Michael and Carole Middleton appeared outside their home in Berkshire - where police were on guard - shortly before 4pm to talk publicly about their daughter's relationship for the first time.

They said they are 'absolutely delighted' and 'thrilled'.

Mr Middleton said: 'As you know Catherine and Prince William have been going out together for quite a number of years. Its great for us because we have got to know him extremely well.

'We think he is wonderful. They make a lovely couple, they're great to be with and we've had a lot of laughs together. We wish them every happiness for the future.'

Earl Spencer, William's uncle and the brother of Diana, said: 'It's wonderful news. Very exciting. My family are all thrilled for them both.'

Mr Cameron and Labour leader Ed Miliband also said they were 'delighted' for the couple.

The Prime Minister was told of the engagement during the Cabinet meeting this morning and relayed it to ministers.

He emerged from No10 just before 1pm to express his joy at the announcement and revealed he had just spoken to the Prince.

'I spoke to Prince William a few moments ago and passed on my congratulations. He was obviously extremely excited about the news and thrilled about what lies in store. It was wonderful to have that word with him and pass on my best wishes,' he said.

Mr Cameron added: 'This is incredibly exciting news and I am sure the whole country will want to pass on their congratulations.'

Recounting how he was handed a note with the news during the Cabinet meeting, he said: 'There was a great cheer that went up and a banging on the table.'

He said: 'It's great to have a piece of unadulterated good news that everyone can celebrate and be happy for them. I am sure it will be something when the country will come together. I remember when William's mother got married, I slept on the Mall that night and joined in the celebrations. I'm sure lots of people will want to celebrate in lots of different ways.'

He added: 'As well as this being a great moment for national celebration, I think we also have to remember that this is two young people who love each other who have made this announcement, who are looking forward to their wedding, and we must give them plenty of space to think about the future and what they are about to do.'

Kate's security detail will now be instantly upgraded to give her round-the-clock protection, befitting a Princess in waiting and - for now at least - her parents are also under guard.

Earlier this month, the Daily Mail exclusively revealed how the Middletons were guests at a private shooting party on the Queen's Scottish estate.

The move was seen as highly symbolic and an indication that the middle-class Middleton family were now firmly being welcomed into the royal fold.

It is now clear that Kate and William were already engaged at the time of the visit to Birkhall, Prince Charles' private residence on the Balmoral estate.

The invitation to Mr Middleton, a former airline despatcher, and ex-air hostess Carole shows William was keen to start off on the right foot with his future in-laws.

Kate and William first met at St Andrews University where they were both studying history of art and lived close to each other in the halls of residence during their first year.

It was at a charity fashion show in March 2002, when Kate modelled a sheer black lace dress, that she was said to have first turned the Prince's head.

They moved in together with friends in 2002 but are not thought to have become a proper item until around Christmas 2003.

Their romance was exposed on a skiing holiday in Klosters in 2004 but William famously proclaimed: 'I don't want to get married until I'm at least 28 or maybe 30' - setting the stage for a very long wait.

They split up in April 2007 as William became increasingly involved in his career in the Armed Forces but were secretly united within weeks.

In the past few months, the pair have been 'road-testing' married life on Anglesey, in Wales, where William works as a search-and-rescue pilot - although officially Kate is still living at her parents.

There was a significant shift last month when they appeared in public together for a friend's wedding.

They notably walked into the ceremony in Gloucestershire side by side when usually they would take pains to avoid being pictured together.

The last time Kate was seen before that had been in July and it is thought she had been kept in the background ahead of the engagement announcement.

Travel chiefs are already saying the wedding will be a massive boost to UK tourism ahead of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics in 2012.

VisitEngland chief executive James Berresford said: 'The wedding next year will mean that once again the eyes of the world will be turned to our nation.

'We will have a wonderful opportunity to showcase all that is best about the country - its heritage and its history and what being English is all about.'

With their engagement only just announced, divorce lawyers are already circling to warn that Kate should sign a pre-nuptial agreement before walking down the aisle.

A recent decision by the Supreme Court has strengthened the validity of pre-nups and effectively made them binding in English law.

Top divorce expert Isabel Thornton said today: 'In a more typical scenario, where two 28 year olds are soon to be married and a substantial disparity of wealth exists, one set of parents would undoubtedly be marching their offspring to see the lawyers as soon as possible.

'However, whether the Royals will do the same remains to be seen. With the risk of setting a precedent in mind, I am sure careful consideration will be paid to the issue before any final decision is made, particularly given the Anglican belief in the sanctity of marriage.'

Diana's private secretary Patrick Jephson added: 'There will be a tidal wave of sentimental slush, but I believe what I'm saying. You've got be practical. If she was my sister, I'd tell her to get a good pre-nup.'

Mr Jephson urged Kate to carve a definite role for herself and refuse to be 'a wife, a pretty face' and warned: 'Kate's not just going into a marriage, she's going into a business.'

'She has to agree on her position especially in relation to her future husband William. She needs to know what's expected of her. Is it going to be a joint operation?'

On her prospects of a happier life as a royal than Diana, he said: 'She is much older than Diana was. She's got more experience. She knows William better.'

He referred to the night before the Princess's wedding when she was told: 'You can't back out, your face is on the tea towels' saying Kate should 'screw the tea towels'.

'If you've got serious reservations, don't go through with it. It's such a public thing. If they don't get this one right, what's going to happen to the whole institution in the long run?'

However, he added: 'If you get it right, it's the best job in the world. It can be fantastic. They should set off with the firm intention of making it the happiest job in the world.'

William & Kate Laugh And Tease In First Post-Engagement Interview

Britain's Prince William carried his mother's engagement ring around Kenya in a rucksack for three weeks before he proposed to his girlfriend Kate Middleton, he said Tuesday after their engagement was announced.

The couple seemed happy and relaxed in their interview, teasing each other about his cooking and his romanticism, each drawing laughter from the other.

"She had 10 or 20 pictures of me up on her wall at university," William said.

No, she responded, it was Levi's ads.

It was me in Levi's, William replied without missing a beat.

They met as students at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland in 2002.

The prince said he'd been torn between asking Kate first if she would marry him, or asking her father for permission before her asked her.

Then he realized her father might say no, so he asked her first, he said.

The couple became more serious when talking about William's mother, the late Diana, princess of Wales.

"Obviously, she is not going to be around to share in the fun and excitement of it all," William said.

Giving Middleton his mother's engagement ring "is my way of keeping her close to it all," said the prince, who is second in line to the British throne.

His mother was killed in a car crash in 1997, the year after she and William's father Prince Charles divorced. They had been separated for several years before that.

"I would love to have met her," Middleton said. "She was an inspirational woman."

But William said there was "no pressure" for Middleton to emulate Diana.

"It's about carving your own future," he said. "No one is trying to fill my mother's shoes."

William and Middleton were friends for over a year at university, and were living together with other friends, before they started dating, they said.

The prince called that a "good foundation," saying "being friends with one another is a massive advantage."

He said his attempts to impress her by "cooking these amazing fancy dinners" had failed, and that she had had to hover in the background to help when he burned or otherwise ruined them.

But other qualities attracted her, he joked.

"I'm obviously extremely funny and she loves that," William said.

Middleton did laugh repeatedly during the interview.

She giggled when the prince asserted that "being a real romantic," he proposed well, and when he said that part of the reason they dated so long before the engagement was "to give her a chance to back out if she needed to."

They'll be married in London in the spring or summer of 2011, Prince Charles's office said Tuesday, saying it was too early to give more specifics.

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Sources: CNN, Daily Mail, MSNBC, Google Maps

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