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It's Official: Kate Middleton and Prince William Are Engaged

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After eight long years of courtship and cohabitation, Prince William and Kate Middleton have finally announced their engagement—and will wed next spring or summer at Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's, or Windsor Castle before moving to North Wales to set up house.

In a full statement, Clarence House said: 'The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince William to Miss Catherine Middleton.

'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.

'Prince William and Miss Middleton became engaged in October during a private holiday in Kenya.

'Prince William has informed The Queen and other close members of his family. Prince William has also sought the permission of Miss Middleton's father.

'Following the marriage, the couple will live in North Wales, where Prince William will continue to serve with the Royal Air Force.'

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: 'Both the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are absolutely delighted for them both.'

But who will design the dress? We'll just have the wait and see. In the meantime, let's talk about the ring...

The engaged couple are scheduled to give their first joint interview to British television this evening, whereupon Middleton will unveil her engagement ring. According to sources, the ring will be made from Welsh gold, a tradition started by the Queen Mother in 1923.

If Kate follows royal tradition, her wedding ring is likely to be fashioned from a nugget of Welsh gold.

Since the custom was started by the Queen Mother in 1923, Welsh gold has been used for royal brides ever since.

The Queen Mother's wedding ring, the Queen's in 1947, Princess Margaret's in 1960, the Princess Royal's in 1973, Diana's in 1981 and Camilla's in 2005 were all made from the same nugget.

The gold came from the Clogau St David's mine at Bontddu in North Wales.

There is now only a minute sliver - one gramme - of the original nugget left.

But in November 1981, the British Royal Legion presented the Queen with a 36-gramme piece of 21-carat Welsh gold for future royal wedding rings.

Part of this gold went into making Sarah, Duchess of York's ring in 1986.

The Duchess of Cornwall's wedding ring was also crafted from Welsh gold from the Clogau St David's mine and the river Mawdach in the Kings Forest.

It was handmade in court style by Wartski and the precious metal was supplied by Cambrian Goldfields Limited.

· Prince William and Kate Middleton engaged to marry in 2011 [Daily Mail]