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THE WEEKLY WORLD EDITION OF The Daily Telegraph AND The Sunday Telegraph
November 24 - 30 2010 No. 1009
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By Gordon Rayner Chief Reporter PRINCE WILLIAM proposed to Kate Middleton with his late mother’s engagement ring to bring together the two most “special” women in his life.
After seven years of speculation, the couple announced their engagement just hours after the Queen and the Prince of Wales had been told.
Senior royal sources confirmed that the couple have their hearts set on a spring wedding in London, and have selected a “first-choice” date, thought to be during the final week of April.
The date, which is understood to be a weekday, is being cleared with other members of the Royal family and Downing Street, and is expected to be announced this week.
A second-choice date in the summer has also been earmarked should April prove problematic. The wedding is likely to take place at Westminster Abbey.
An April wedding would see Prince William marrying in the same month as his father, the Prince of Wales, whose second marriage took place in Windsor in April 2005.
It is thought that the preferred date will not be until the end of April because the Queen would not be expected to attend a major event during the Lent and Easter period.
A senior royal aide said: “Prince William and Miss Middleton have a specific date and venue in mind, and Prince William’s household is consulting with all relevant parties.
“However, they are realistic that for one reason or another, their first-choice date may not work for all parties involved, and so they have selected a second-choice summer date.
Traditionally, royal weddings take place on a weekday, usually
The natural step: Kate Middleton, in a blue dress that perfectly matches her engagement ring, links arms with her fiancé, Prince William, at St James’s Palace in London last Tuesday a Friday rather than a Saturday, so a weekday is likely.”
David Cameron indicated last week that the wedding would be celebrated with a bank holiday.
The Prime Minister told a committee of MPs: “There is a debate I think we ought to have – obviously not knowing what the date is yet – but whether there ought to be a bank holiday.
“I think if it’s in the middle of the week it would be a very good idea to have a bank holiday.
“Even if it’s at a weekend I think there would be a great temptation to have a bank holiday, a day of national
Prince’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy on privacy p3 Royal engagement special features p4-5 The world’s reaction p18 Editorial comment p19 Matthew d’Ancona p20
celebration to mark what is happening.”
The wedding ceremony will attract one of the biggest worldwide television audiences since the Prince of Wales married Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.
While Prince William invited inevitable comparisons between his late mother and his brideto-be with his choice of engagement ring, he insisted that Miss Middleton was under “no pressure” to fill his mother’s shoes.
He also promised there would be no repeat of the isolation felt by Diana, Princess of Wales, when she joined the Royal family, saying he had tried to “learn lessons” from the past and had delayed the engagement to give his fiancée the chance to “back out” if the pressure became too much.
As the couple disclosed that they had secretly become engaged during a romantic break in Kenya last month, Miss Middleton showed off the sapphire and diamond ring which the Prince had hidden in his rucksack until he proposed.
“It’s very special to me, and Kate is very special to me now as well, so it’s only right the two are put together,” the Prince said.
“It’s my way of making sure my mother didn’t miss out on today and the excitement and the fact that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together.”
Miss Middleton described the proposal as “very romantic” and admitted that joining the Royal family was a “daunting prospect”.
The Prince of Wales announced the couple’s engagement in a statement from Clarence House at 11.08 last Tuesday morning.
It was such a closely guarded secret that the only other person who knew about it was Miss Middleton’s father, Michael, who had given his permission when the Prince asked for his daughter’s hand in marriage when the couple returned from Africa.
In keeping with an 18thcentury law, the Prince also had to ask the Queen’s permission, and did so during a phone call last Tuesday morning.
The Prince of Wales and Miss Middleton’s brother and sister were told little more than three hours before the announcement was made public.
Prince Harry, who also learnt the news last Tuesday, said: “I am delighted that my brother has popped the question. It
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