Finally! Prince William engaged to Kate Middleton
Britain's Prince William will marry his long-time girlfriend Kate Middleton in 2011, Clarence House has announced.
"The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine (Kate) Middleton," the Daily Express quoted an official statement.
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Image: File picture of Britain's Prince William (L) is seen smiling as he walks with his girlfriend Kate Middleton at RAF Cranwell
Wedding bells next year
"Prince William, 28, asked Middleton, also 28, to marry him while the two were on vacation in Kenya last month," the statement said.
"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," the report stated.
Image: Prince Williams and his girlfriend Kate Middleton react during a rugby match in London
They will live happily ever after in north Wales
Prince William has informed The Queen and other close members of his family about his plans to take the plunge. He has also sought the permission of 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 statement added.
Image: Williams and Middleton
No longer the 'princess in waiting'
The announcement ends months of intense speculation about when Prince William, who is a search and rescue pilot in the Royal Air Force, would propose to Middleton, who has been nicknamed the 'princess in waiting'.
William, second in line to the throne, completed his helicopter pilot training in September at an RAF base in North Wales. He and Middleton would live near the base after their wedding, it was announced.
Image: Prince William's girlfriend Kate Middleton smiles during a function in Southern England
A humble 'Royal-to-be'
Middleton is seen as someone from a perfectly normal middle-class background.
Her father was a flight dispatcher with the British Airways, where her mother worked as a stewardess. The Middletons set up a business for the supply of party accessories.
Image: Kate Middleton smiles during Prince Williams' graduation ceremony at RAF Cranwell
Britain cheers the Royal match
Royal observers described the decision to tie the knot as 'inevitable' after the long relationship, in which the couple looked increasingly relaxed and happy together.
The announcement came to the elation of Britishers, many of whom viewed the engagement as a seemingly inevitable, yet unreachable moment.
Within just 25 minutes of the announcement's post on the royal Facebook page, more than 1,400 people "liked" the news.
Image: Prince Williams and Middleton cheer during a rugby match