Prince William, second in line to the British throne and the elder son of the late Princess Diana, is to marry his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton, it was announced yesterday.

The couple, both aged 28, have been dating for eight years after meeting in 2001 at St. Andrews University in Fife, Scotland, where they were students.

The prince proposed last month while on a private holiday in Kenya with Miss Middleton, who had been nicknamed “Waity Katy” by sections of the British tabloid press over the long delay she has endured waiting to marry William.

Prince William used his dead mother’s oval blue 18-carat sapphire and diamond ring when he popped the all-important question to his now fiancee. Diana, who died in 1997, chose the same elegant cluster ring after becoming engaged to Charles in 1981.

“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,” reported officials at the official residence of Prince William’s father the Prince of Wales.

The young couple will live in North Wales where Prince William will continue to serve as a helicopter pilot in the Royal Air Force.

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