As it happened: Royal engagement

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  1. 1930: It's time to wrap up our live coverage now. Thanks very much for all your contributions.
  2. 1924: Tim Sharp from St Albans, Herts: "The UK and the BBC needs to get away from non-news such as this and recognise that this country needs a serious debate about the monarchy and whether we can afford to subsidise the Windsor family." Send us your comments
  3. 1921: Lesley, from Sheffield: "Congratulations! Your mother meant the world to me, and she will be with you in spirit" Send us your comments
  4. 1920: "It's obviously nerve-wracking as I don't know the ropes, but I'm willing to learn quickly" - that's Kate's promise as she enters not just a marriage, but what amounts to a job for life.
  5. 1916: William, ever the gentleman, said he waited this long to give Kate the chance to back out if she realised she didn't want to be part of the Royal Family.
  6. 1914: On a serious note, Kate says Princess Diana was "an inspirational woman" and she would have loved to have met her. But William points out that "no-one is trying to fill my mother's shoes."
  7. 1912: Being friends first was a massive advantage, says William. "I'm obviously extremely funny and she loves that," he says modestly.
  8. 1910: Of the break-up a couple of years ago, William says they were very young, while Kate said it made her stronger and she learnt a lot about herself, even though she wasn't particularly happy with it.
  9. 1908: Domestic details have also be revealed, such as when William tried to impress Kate by cooking for her in their shared house at university. Burnt dishes, overflowing pots... sounds like typical students.
  10. 1907: Kate says the tale of her having a picture of the prince on her bedroom wall when she was a young girl was not true. It was in fact a poster for Levi jeans, she says.
  11. 1905: And what about the pitter-patter of tiny royal feet? William says they'll work on the marriage bit first, before thinking about children.
  12. 1905: The sequence of events after the proposal is revealed - William asked Kate first before gaining permission from her father. His thinking was that Mr Middleton couldn't say no if his daughter had already said yes.
  13. 1903: The prince described the pair as like ducks - calm on the surface but paddling furiously underneath - as they kept their engagement secret for three weeks.
  14. 1902: William has revealed that the engagement ring travelled in the royal rucksack for a few weeks before he chose the right time to propose. He knew he'd be in trouble if he lost it, so he held onto it tightly.
  15. 1901: William said he and Kate had been talking about marriage for a while before he proposed in Kenya. Kate said it was "a total shock" when it came.
  16. 1900: William and Kate have given their first interview as an engaged couple, revealing details of the engagement, life at university, how their love blossomed and hopes for the future.
  17. 1854: S Warburton, in Stoke-on-Trent, writes: "My husband and I married on the same day as Sophie and Prince Edward. As my daughter is getting married next June 24th it would be great if the date turned out to be the same, but it is on a Friday, but fingers crossed." Send us your comments
  18. 1852: Carol Ashman from Atlanta, USA tells us: "Even though I emigrated to the US 20 years ago, it is hard to avoid the media frenzy and interest in the Royal family. I am listening to BBC news live on my laptop right now! Good luck to both of them." Send us your comments
  19. 1848: Max Clifford, PR supremo, says the increasing media pressure will be easy for William, seeing as he was born into it, but a "minefield" for Kate. "When she breathes in, and breathes out, she's got to get permission." Certainly sounds tough.
  20. 1844: Sarah, in Bournemouth, writes: "Absolutely wonderful news. It's been great to have a day where the media have focused on something positive for a change; I was starting to get doom fatigue." Send us your comments
  21. 1842: Sandie Dawe from Visit Britain is very pleased with the timing of the wedding, ahead of the Olympics in 2012 and the Queen's jubilee. Royalty is a big draw, especially for Chinese, Brazilian and Malaysian tourists, apparently.
  22. 1832: Jackson Hammond tweets: "This is all well and good and congratulations but do we really need such fuss and such massive news coverage? #royalwedding"
  23. 1818: Michelle Piercy, from Wirral, writes: "Shame to overshadow this lovely news with comparisons to his parents' unhappy union. William seems to be a level-headed fellow and truly in love. Good luck to both of them." Send us your comments
  24. 1816: The BBC's George Alagiah reporting from Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, where William attended the Remembrance Sunday event, says the camp is a place of huge patriotism, and everyone welcomed the news, even so far from home.
  25. 1812: Jules Knight was at St Andrews with the couple, where they all studied history of art, and he's very excited about the engagement, but told the BBC that like any young couple William and Kate had "bad patches... but managed to patch it all up". Now they're deeply in love, he says.
  26. 1804: David Mvoi, from Kenya, writes: I'm delighted for William and Kate, especially for the Kenyan connection to their engagement. They're very welcome to our beautiful country for their honeymoon." Send us your comments
  27. 1756: Cassandra Taylor, from Minneapolis, US, writes: "I am not sure why we care, but we do! The idea of a royal family is so appealing. I think Kate and William make a perfect couple, and it is fun to get excited over waiting and watching Kate become a princess." Send us your comments
  28. 1751: An eagled-eye observer tells me Kate's dress is from her favourite designer Daniella Issa Helayel. Could she be the one to create the wedding dress? We'll have to wait and see.
  29. 1745: Ian Lloyd, royal photographer and author, says Kate has got "star quality" just like Diana. He thinks she's going to inject some "zest, life, and glamour" into the royal family.
  30. 1742: John W Zink, from Flagstaff, Arizona, US, writes: "Smashing! In 1981 I was flying Harriers with 1(F) SQN at RAF Wittering. I remember the excitement of Prince Charles and Diana's wedding, it was electrifying. We had a fabulous block party at Wittering Village. So nice to have happy news for 2011." Send us your comments
  31. 1737: "We have a great fun time together, 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," Prince William said. For her part, his bride-to-be said: "Over the years, William has really looked after me. He's treated me very well as the great, loving boyfriend he is."
  32. 1734: David Elward tweets: "Kate Middleton: joining the Royal Family is a "daunting prospect." Lessons learned with sensible honesty."
  33. 1730: Katie Turner-Samuels tweets: "Royal wedding - how adorable! what an amazing ring! Kate gorgeous at press con. William very coolly handled"
  34. 1727: A bit more on that ring. Prince William explained to the assembled media: "As you may recognise now it is my mother's engagement ring, so of course, it is very special to me, and Kate is very special to me now as well. It is only right the two are put together."
  35. 1723: Maggiebob tweets: "I only want to know one thing about the royal wedding - do we get a day off work for it?"
  36. 1718: Royal commentator James Whittaker says giving Kate his mother's ring is an "absolutely beautiful" gesture on William's part - "a real sign of love and affection".
  37. 1715: Prince William laughed when asked why it had taken him so many years to pop the question. "The timing is right now, we are both very, very happy," he added.
  38. 1712: Gulu Bati Wario, in Hola-Kenya, writes: "Bravo William and Kate for marriage is a lifetime achievement. May your engagement bring honour to the Royalty and the country as a whole." Send us your comments
  39. 1708: ByRichard tweets: "I think the cynicism around the royal wedding is a shame, but I can see where it stems from. Two people in love or political distraction? "
  40. 1706: The BBC's Daniella Relph, who was at the royal press conference, says she was surprised at how at ease Kate looked in such an intimidating atmosphere - althought she kept her arm firmly linked in William's throughout. It's really the first time we've ever seen them interact with, or talk about each other, our correspondent adds.
  41. 1703: Prince William explains why he chose to give Kate his mother Diana's engagment ring. "It was my way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today," he says.
  42. 1701: And now Miss Middleton's voice - heard for perhaps the first time on a public stage like this. Asked how she feels about the prospect of marrying into the royal family, she says: "It's quite a daunting prospect, but hopefully I'll take it in my stride. William is a great teacher."
  43. 1659: Here we go - the first pictures of the happy couple. Amid a blaze of photographers' flash bulbs, William and Kate look extremely happy. For all you fashionistas, she is wearing a bright blue dress, fitted at the waist and then flared out to the knee.
  44. 1657: The BBC's Daniella Relph has been at the press conference with William and Kate. She says we still have no date for the big day and William wouldn't reveal whether he went down on one knee for the proposal, but Kate said the moment was "very special".
  45. 1654: If the live page has whetted your appetite for more, we've put together a special report on Prince William and his bride-to-be.
  46. 1649: Catherine Helvin, in St Helens, Merseyside, writes: "I think the wedding should be in St Paul's Cathedral because the acoustics are better, it's bigger and people will have a better view of the ceremony. The grand flight of steps will provide a spectacular background for the bride's train, especially if it's a long one." Send us your comments
  47. 1644: We'll be bringing you the happy couple's first interview here on the BBC News website and on the BBC News channel at 7pm - hope you'll stay with us for that.
  48. 1642: Clive Drake, in Colchester, UK, writes: "Frankly I couldn't care less. It will cost us millions in security alone and the chances of the marriage succeeding in the long run - if history of royal marriages over the past 25 years is anything to go by - is zero." Send us your comments
  49. 1638: Clarence House have just confirmed that William has given his fiancee the engagement ring that his late mother wore. It is an enormous 18 carat blue sapphire surrounded by smaller diamonds. We might get a glimpse of it on Kate's hand shortly when those much-awaited photos of the happy couple are released.
  50. 1635: Jon Idle, in Haywards Heath, writes: "Rather excited at the news but not sure why. I've not been a particular royal fan over the last decade, but I just have a feeling that this is going to be rather special." Send us your comments
  51. 1630: William has given Kate his mother Diana's engagement ring, according to ITV's political editor Tom Bradby.
  52. 1629: Kassindra writes: "A royal wedding, is it the most interesting news of the day? I have a more interesting news than that. I made a cake today!" Join the debate
  53. 1625: A word on nuptial logistics from Downing Street. The PM's spokesman says a cross-government committee will be set up to look at issues including policing, security and the implications of visits from foreign heads of government to the royal wedding.
  54. 1622: Back in Washington, DC, Mary Babish, of Green Bay, Wisconsin, tells the BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan: "Personally, I don't care, but I have a lot of friends who are so excited. They love the glamour, pageantry and the pomp. We don't have kings and queens but we have entertainers. People in the US love any type of news like this."
  55. 1619: Aaron Prior tweets: "So why shouldn't we celebrate a royal wedding? They do more for the country than most of it's inhabitants!"
  56. 1615: The BBC's Rajini Vaidyanathan has been speaking to commuters at Union Station in Washington, DC, about the royal engagement. Rajini says: Almost everyone I spoke to didn't know much about Kate Middleton. Expect that to change. Princess Diana was conferred star status by the American media and press interest in her has remained high.
  57. 1611: Wedding dress speculation continues apace: Kate will wear a demure, high-necked, hand-embroidered, lace couture gown, according to Peta Hunt, of You and Your Wedding magazine. She also suggests the royal bride will pick a fishtail-style gown, rather than a large, full skirt.
  58. 1607: Earl Spencer, Prince William's uncle, said: "It's wonderful news. Very exciting. My family are all thrilled for them both."
  59. 1604: Mike Hilton, in St Petersburg, Russia, writes: "As a pensioner and former member of the Royal Air Force, I think I am just as thrilled and delighted as David Cameron and His Royal Highness, Prince Charles - and lots of others who admire Prince William for what he is and has become since his mother's untimely death. I wish them true happiness and a wonderful long life together." Send us your comments
  60. 1600: There's been much talk over the years about Kate being a commoner. But Charles Kidd, from Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, says their genealogy detective has discovered that Kate is actually a 15th cousin of Prince William.
  61. 1556: If Kate follows royal tradition, her wedding ring will be fashioned from a nugget of Welsh gold. The custom was started by the Queen Mother in 1923, and since then, the Queen, Princess Margaret, the Princess Royal and Diana, Princess of Wales, have all followed suit. The lucky nugget in question came from the Clogau St David's mine at Bontddu, in north Wales.
  62. 1553: Mark Denholm tweets: "Ok, why is everyone so excited about the royal wedding? It's a total irelevance."
  63. 1549: Kate's Middleton's parents, Michael and Carole, say they are "absolutely delighted" and "thrilled" at today's announcement. "We've got to know William very well and we think he is wonderful," they said. "They make a lovely couple, they're great to be with and we've had a lot of laughs together."
  64. 1544: GinaEvents tweets: "Everyone in the wedding community is too busy preparing their pitches for Kate and William to tweet!"
  65. 1540: On her way out of the Apollo theatre in London, where the musical Wicked is staged, the Duchess of Cornwall said: "It's the most brilliant news. I'm just so happy and so are they. It's wicked."
  66. 1536: For anyone just joining us, we're expecting the happy couple to take part in a photo call at St James's Palace at 4.45pm. After that, they'll be doing an interview together - stay tuned to the BBC News channel, BBC radio and right here on the website for more.
  67. 1533: Joe writes: "when I was in NY last year I believe I saw more news on the royal family in three weeks than I had for an entire year here in the UK." Join the debate
  68. 1527: Benedict Brogan, writing in the Telegraph blog says: "Mr Cameron will be forgiven then for hoping that a spring/summer royal wedding next year will be just what he needs to give him and his lot a timely political boost."
  69. 1523: Showbiz magazine Heat tells BBC Radio 5 live they're not that bothered about the engagement because they believe young people these days are more interested in Katie Waissel from the X Factor than Kate Middleton.
  70. 1519: In the Commons this afternoon, Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson congratulated Wills and Kate, before adding to loud laughter: "If they need a photographer, I understand there's one available now." That quip was in reference to news that PM David Cameron had taken his personal photographer off the government payroll this morning, following criticism.
  71. 1516: Very helpfully, the Daily Mirror is offering 10 things you need to know about Kate Middleton. Number two? "She allegedly caught his eye as she strutted down a runway clad in a naughty see-through dress at a university fashion show."
  72. 1511: Vanity Fair magazine chronicles how love blossomed between the prince and his fellow undergrad: Wills and the Real Girl
  73. 1508: Sun chief photographer Arthur Edwards tells the BBC that Kate naturally looks a million dollars, but the media should give her a chance to ease into her job, then they'll get fabulous pictures from her.
  74. 1504: Dave in Manchester writes: "Oh I'm so excited, I will decorate the house specially, take a day off!...NOT." Join the debate
  75. 1501: Just a bit of clarification on William and Kate's first interview later this afternoon. You'll be able to see it on the BBC News channel and here on the website we'll bring you some snippets as soon as we get them.
  76. 1457: Ingrid Seward, editor of Majesty magazine, says Kate differs from Diana, Princess of Wales, and Sarah, Duchess of York, in that she comes from a very happy, stable family background.
  77. 1454: You might remember that Kate and William actually split up in April 2007 - but it seems they've put that temporary blip firmly behind them.
  78. 1450: Royal historian Hugo Vickers predicts the wedding won't take place on the current bookie's favourite date of 13 August, as that's right in the middle of the Scottish holidays. He thinks it'll be in July - after the celebrations for Prince Philip's 90th birthday in June.
  79. 1447: Paul Jenkins, in Rugeley, Staffordshire, writes: "Angry. Who will pay for it? Millions will come from the taxpayer who already pays for these parasites to live in the lap of luxury whilst we work for a living." Send us your comments
  80. 1444: Journalist Paul Waugh initially suggested the government was burying bad news. He tweeted: "Amazing coincidence. Two negative government stories - Guantanamo payoffs and vanity staff - dwarfed by Royal Wedding announcement." However, he then changed his mind: "Government sources point out the Prime Minister was told of Royal Wedding at 10.30am, whereas briefing on 'vanity' staff was at 10.10am. No burying of bad news."
  81. 1440: The Prince of Wales has given a low-key response to the announcement. While on a visit to his model village, Poundbury in Dorset, he barely broke step from his pre-arranged meet and greet to say he was "thrilled, obviously", joking: "They have been practising long enough."
  82. 1437: Much drooling anticipation of how Kate's sparkler will look. Diamond specialist Ernest Jones reckons the bride-to-be will have a white gold ring, because that's popular right now, with a "modern vintage classic look", which apparently means a large stone and accompanying smaller stones. Diana's wedding ring had a large sapphire surrounded by smaller diamonds, adds the jeweller.\r
  83. 1433: Will we all get an extra day off work next year to celebrate the royal nuptials? Well, the marriage of William's parents, Charles and Diana, in 1981 was accompanied by a national holiday - but Downing Street has apparently been "non-committal" so far about the prospect.
  84. 1429: Natalya, in Kiev-city, Ukraine, writes: "It is a happy feeling every time when a royal wedding is announced. There is another chance to dream about a happy life." Send us your comments
  85. 1427: Further speculation about that wedding dress: most commentators seem to think Kate will choose a British designer, but not someone as high profile as Stella McCartney. And probably not George at Asda either.
  86. 1424: Mary Doll writes: "Does anyone really care about this wedding which will probably cost the country a fortune. And what bad news will be "slipped" in whilst the peasants are celebrating?" Join the debate
  87. 1421: The Guardian newspaper wants to hear from any ladies who are heartbroken that Wills is off the market.
  88. 1418: Wills and Kate will give their first interview together to ITV News's political editor Tom Bradby, an old friend of the Prince, which will be broadcast at 7pm.
  89. 1415: Cathy Smith in London writes: "The prospect of a very, very costly royal wedding next year feels out of step and out of kilter with how we are all expected to live now. If we are truly "all in this together" how about the Windsors fund the marriage themselves? Then the profits generated from the extra tourism might actually boost UK coffers." Have Your Say
  90. 1411: If you're just joining the Category Five hurricane of rolling news coverage for William and Kate's engagement, we're expecting a photocall with the happy couple at St James's Palace at 4.45pm.
  91. 1408: As well as offering congratulations, the couple's alma mater, the University of St Andrews, has taken some of the credit for their romance. "St Andrews is a special place - one in 10 of our students meet their future partner here, and our title as Britain's top match-making university signifies so much that is good about this community." To see how they went from students to sweethearts, check out our feature.
  92. 1404: In Kate's home village of Bucklebury, Berkshire, there's a police car parked at the top of the private drive which leads to the Middleton home to keep prying reporters at bay. The family will have to get used to this - if they haven't already that is.
  93. 1400: The Daily Mail is wondering whether William's fiancee is the new People's Princess - it considers \rHow confident Kate Middleton compares to 'Shy Di'.
  94. 1357: Parisian Pen writes: "Can't the happy couple wait a year? Their wedding would make a great opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics." Have Your Say
  95. 1354: Prince William has just returned from a visit to UK troops in Afghanistan. Regimental Sergeant Major Mark Ellis met him - although he didn't have an inkling of the announcement to come. "It's great news," he tells the BBC. Asked if he's got any advice for the prince, he adds: "Keep you own bank account."
  96. 1350: First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones has added his congratulations to those flooding in. He says he's glad the couple plan to stay in north Wales after tying the knot.
  97. 1347: Anoymous reporter Fleet Street fox tweets: "Please let Harry be in charge of the stag do. Think of the pictures!"
  98. 1344: The Daily Telegraph notes that Kate, whose birth name is Catherine Elizabeth, will one day become the country's sixth Queen Catherine, though she will hope to avoid the unfortunate and sometimes macabre fates of almost all of her predecessors.
  99. 1340: Some trivia about the couple: Kate had a teenage crush on the prince, adorning her wall with a poster of him in polo gear long before she had met him. Wills is said to call Kate "Babykins", while he is apparently her "Big Willie". Hmm!
  100. 1336: Jules Knight, who was a friend of the couple at university, describes how they fell in love. "I think he just took a shine to her really. They spent a lot of time together and were very good friends for a long time and I think then that blossomed into something more. And it's not surprising really because Kate's a fantastic girl."
  101. 1332: Sue Holmes in Brisbane, Australia writes: "I feel sorry for him. He has had no chance to try for anyone else. She just wants to be Queen and that's the bottom line. Poor William." Have Your Say
  102. 1330: The American TV network CNN is noting that this is a very modern royal wedding, with Clarence House announcing the match on Twitter, and a similar announcement appearing on the Queen's new Facebook page soon afterwards.
  103. 1325: There'll be celebrations tonight in Kate's home village of Bucklebury in Berkshire, where her parents, businessman Michael and former air hostess Carole, are expected to make a statement to media later.
  104. 1322: Bookmakers are punting 13 August next year as a favourite date for this wedding, at odds of 3-1.
  105. 1319: Emma in Nottingham writes: "It really is great news, not only for the happy couple but as a whole for the country to celebrate with street parties. Hopefully this will be an oppurtunity for communities to unite and be proud of the monarchy and all the glory it represents. Let the taxpayer pay for it, look how much revenue the monarchy brings each year in money through tourism." Have Your Say
  106. 1315: Sherri Korpi tweets: "Congratulations to Prince William and Kate Middleton on their engagement! It will be a beautiful royal wedding!"
  107. 1312: Clarence House has said that after the marriage the royal couple will continue to live in North Wales. William is currently based at RAF Valley on Anglesey where he flies Sea King search and rescue helicopters.
  108. 1309: Royal-watchers are wondering whether the happy couple will say much at this afternoon's expected photocall. When William's parents were asked if they were in love as they announced their engagement in 1981, Prince Charles said they were, but added: "Whatever love means". Wills will want to avoid any similar awkward moments today.
  109. 1306: Hayley Kennedy, in Cheshire, writes: "What fantastic news at a time when so many people are down in the dumps as a result of the trends of recent times. Hopefully this news will make people consider the merits of a traditional courtship and the union of marriage as something precious and valuable." Have Your Say
  110. 1303: James Whittaker, who's reported on the royal family since the 1960s, says life as a princess will be "very very demanding". "We do expect a lot of these people," he says. "We expected so much of Diana and it'll be exactly the same with Kate. It's going to be very tough for her."
  111. 1300: Jane O'Donnell tweets: "Looking forward to the happy couple noting the effects of the recession on the country and making it low key and responsible"
  112. 1258: Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond says William and Kate's romance was "a match made in St Andrews" - where they attended university - and he hopes everyone in Scotland will join him in wishing them well.
  113. 1255: BBC East Africa correspondent Will Ross says: Prince William popped the question at a secluded game reserve in the foothills of Mount Kenya, where he has stayed several times before. He first visited the reserve's luxury lodge with his ex-girlfriend, Jessica Craig, whose parents own it. He spent part of his gap year in Kenya and is extremely fond of Africa, so perhaps it's no surprise that this is where the couple became engaged.
  114. 1252: We understand the happy couple will be holding a photocall at St James's Palace this afternoon.
  115. 1250: Sophie, Countess of Wessex, wife of Prince Edward, tells the BBC: "I think it's absolutely thrilling, couldn't be more excited? we wish them all the love and luck in the world."
  116. 1248: Robert Rodriguez, from Saffron Walden, Essex, writes: "I am very happy to hear of the upcoming marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. I was present at Waterloo Station for his parents' arrival en route to their honeymoon. It seems many, many years ago! The only sadness is that his mother wont be there to see him at such a special time in his life. May they both be very happy together." Have Your Say
  117. 1245: The PM says he got wind of the news during a cabinet meeting this morning. It was met with "a great cheer" and "banging of the table" from fellow ministers, he says. Mr Cameron also tells reporters he's spoken personally to William in the last few minutes and the prince sounded very excited.
  118. 1243: David Cameron is speaking in Downing Street. He says "it's great to have some unadulterated good news" for the country the celebrate. He says he slept overnight on the Mall ahead of Diana and Charles' wedding.
  119. 1241: The Twittersphere seems in agreement that Wills won't opt for a stag night in Blackpool with Rooney and Gazza.
  120. 1239: Michelle Holley, of Dream Wedding Gowns, based near Kate's home village, says she thinks the bride should wear a column-shaped dress in Italian lace, with a three-quarter length jacket and tiny sleeves. She predicts the gown will become a monster trend-setter.
  121. 1236: Lisa, from Inverclyde, writes: "I think it's fabulous news and wish them all the love and luck in the world for a long and happy future together. I also think it's good for Britain as it's a momentous happy occasion that the whole country will be able to share in and be proud of." Have Your Say
  122. 1234: Labour leader Ed Miliband has sent his congratulations to the couple, adding: "The whole country will be wishing them every happiness."
  123. 1232: Underlining what a truly global story this is, ABC News' breakfast show, Good Morning America, just began their programme with a trumpet fanfare to announce the royal wedding.
  124. 1230: Want to know more about the future Princess Catherine? Check out our profile.
  125. 1228: Steve Dickinson, from Peterborough, writes: "I really do wish them both well, but I hope the taxpayer does not pay one penny towards it!" Have Your Say
  126. 1226: Daily Express royal correspondent Richard Palmer says life will never be the same for Wills and Kate again, and that interest in the couple will only intensify. He reckons Kate has handled things pretty well up until now, despite the huge focus on her. He believes the Palace will provide her with training on how to speak and comport herself in public.
  127. 1224: Prime Minister David Cameron is due to speak about the royal engagement within the next few minutes. Stay tuned.
  128. 1222: Where will the wedding take place, we wonder. Well, St Paul's Cathedral was the venue of choice for Prince Charles and Princess Diana, but Westminster Abbey was the venue for both the Queen and the Queen Mother. Any other suggestions?
  129. 1220: Republic, a campaign group which wants the British monarchy to be abolished, says it hopes the royals don't use the wedding as a PR exercise.
  130. 1218: Denise Milden, in Maidenhead, writes: "Many many congratulations to the happy couple. Something wonderful to look forward to in 2011, a royal wedding. I'm so pleased for them both." Have Your Say
  131. 1216: Ruth in Cape Town, South Africa writes: "Really tremendous news, good luck and best wishes to them both." Have Your Say
  132. 1214: Not everyone is delighted though, it seems. The BBC's Laura Kuenssberg, at Westminster, says some Labour MPs are raising their eyebrows at the timing of the announcement, on the day PM David Cameron reversed a decision to employ a personal photographer and camerawoman at the taxpayers' expense; and when it emerged that men who accused British security forces of colluding in their torture were to get millions in compensation from the UK.
  133. 1212: William, it seems, stuck to tradition. We're told he asked Kate's father for permission before popping the question.
  134. 1210: Like any newly engaged couple, the details of the big day are apparently still to be ironed out, but Clarence House says the wedding will take place in spring or summer 2011.
  135. 1206: More congratulations - Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman says he's "delighted" too and sends his best wishes to the couple. That sentiment is echoed by Deputy PM Nick Clegg, who says he's "thrilled".
  136. 1157: The Queen says she is "absolutely delighted" at the news.
  137. 1155: William and Kate began dating when they were both students at St Andrew's University. They graduated in the same ceremony in 2005.
  138. 1150: The couple, both 28, got engaged during a private holiday in October, Clarence House said.
  139. 1145: Clarence House has announced that Prince William is to marry Kate Middleton next year.

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Key points

  1. Prince William is to marry Kate Middleton in spring or summer next year
  2. He gave her his mother Diana's engagement ring and told the media they were were both "very, very happy"
  3. Kate said joining the royal family was a "daunting prospect", but she was looking forward to it
  4. Congratulations have poured in from public figures including the Queen and David Cameron
  5. Reporter: Lucy Wilkins

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