Britain’s Prince William Getting Married Next Year

The engagement announcement ends years of rumored splits, reconciliations and will-they, won’t-they speculation. It will be the biggest royal wedding since Prince Charles married Lady Diana Spencer almost 30 years ago.

Prince Charles’ Clarence House office said the heir to the British throne was “delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton.” It said the couple got engaged last month during a vacation in Kenya.

The statement also said that William had informed his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, and also sought the permission of Middleton’s father.

Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip “are absolutely delighted for them both,” Buckingham Palace said.

Kate Middleton’s father Michael Middleton read a statement on behalf of both parents outside of their home near the Berkshire village of Bucklebury, saying that they were “thrilled at the prospect of a wedding sometime next year.”

Prime Minister David Cameron was delighted, too, wishing the couple “great joy in their life together.” He said he announced the news during a Cabinet meeting, and it was greeted by cheers and “a great banging of the table.”

The couple were to give their first joint interview later Tuesday. Middleton has rarely, if ever, spoken about William in public. (One rare slip came during William’s graduation from Sandhurst in December 2006: “I love the uniform. It’s so, so sexy,” she said.)

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