Beijing - A fairytale royal wedding might repeat in the United Kingdom, as Prince William and his commoner girlfriend Kate Middleton finally got engaged after years of dating.
The happy couple made an engaging debut at St. James's Palace in London on Tuesday - just hours after announcing their plans to wed in London in the spring or summer of 2011.
Prince William proposed with the blue sapphire and diamond ring which once belonged to his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in a car accident in 1997.
"I thought it was quite nice because obviously she's not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement of it all. This was my way of keeping her close to it all," William said on a TV interview on Tuesday.
"We're hugely excited. We're looking forward to spending the rest of our lives together," he added.
The young couple's families were all enthusiastic about the news of the engagement.
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip, said they were "absolutely delighted for them both."
William's father Prince Charles said he was "thrilled."
Middleton's parents, Carole and Michael, also gushed.
Royal officials said that while Middleton is commonly known as Kate, her official name is Catherine Elizabeth. She will be named Queen Catherine if William, as expected, eventually takes the throne.
The two 28-year-olds met as freshmen at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, starting out as just friends but quickly fell in love with each other.