Prince William, the grandson of Queen Elizabeth II, queen of Britain, has announced his engagement to his long-standing girlfriend Kate Middleton.
William, 28, the son Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, will marry Miss Middleton, also 28, "in the spring or summer of 2011," the Prince of Wales, said in a statement today.
Miss Middleton, who is the daughter of self-made millionaires, met the prince when they were students at St Andrews University in Scotland. Prince William and Miss Middleton both started out on the same history of art course at St Andrews in 2001, although Prince William later switched to geography.
Miss Middleton, who is six months older than William, was credited with persuading the prince to stay on as he struggled to adjust to university life during his first year. For several years, they shared accommodation with friends.
The pair have been dating since 2003, though their relationship was only exposed in 2005 when they were photographed together on the Swiss ski slopes of Klosters.
Prince Charles's statement said Prince William and Miss Middleton became engaged in October during a private holiday in Kenya. The wedding will take place in London.
The statement said: "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."
Miss Middleton is the eldest child of Michael Middleton and his wife Carole, a former air hostess, who have become millionaires from their mail order toy and party goods company. She was raised in a modern five-bedroom detached house in the Berkshire village of Bucklebury.