LONDON — Prince William and Kate Middleton opened up their engagement, sharing details of the proposal in an interview with British TV network ITN a few hours after the news was announced.
“We had a little private time away together with some friends,” Prince William told ITN’s Tom Bradby Tuesday, “and I just decided that it was the right time, really. We had been talking about marriage for a while so it wasn't a massively big surprise. I took her up somewhere nice in Kenya and I proposed.”
With his fiancee by his side, the prince talked candidly about popping the question.
“I'd been planning it for a while, but as any guy out there will know, it takes a certain amount of motivation to get yourself going,” he said. “It just felt really right out in Africa. It was beautiful at the time. I had done a little bit of planning to show my romantic side."
The planning paid off.
“It was very romantic,” said Kate Middleton, laughing, “there’s a true romantic in there.”
The announcement came after months of fevered speculation. To clear up a few of the rumors, the interview with ITN's Bradby was their first joint interview. Prior to Tuesday, Kate Middleton’s words to the press regarding her relationship with Prince William have been few and far between.
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The prince proposed to Middleton with the engagement ring that belonged to his mother, Princess Diana. “I had been carrying it around with me in my rucksack for about three weeks before that,” he said, “and I literally would not let it go, everywhere I went I was keeping hold of it because I knew this thing, if it disappeared I would be in a lot of trouble and because I'd planned it, it went fine. You hear a lot of horror stories about proposing and things going horribly wrong — it went really, really well and I was really pleased she said yes.
“It's my mother's engagement ring,” continued William, “so 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.” Bradby asked Kate if she expected the ring to make her the envy of many. “I just hope I look after it,” said the bride to be. “It’s very, very special.”
When informed that the couple looked happy and relaxed, the prince concurred. “We are,” he said. “We’re like sort of ducks, very calm on the surface, with little feet going under the water. It’s been really exciting because we’ve been talking about it for a long time, so for us, it’s a real relief. And it’s really nice to be able to tell everybody. Especially for the last two or three weeks, it’s been quite difficult not telling anyone, keeping it to ourselves for reasons we had to.”
Having met originally while at St. Andrews University, the couple has known each other for some time. Based on their long history together, Bradby asked if the prince ever cooked or did “anything useful around the house.” “He did cook for me quite a bit at university,” answered Kate, “and he would always come with a bit of angst and a bit of anger if something had gone wrong, and I would have to wander in and save something that was going.” “I would say I’m getting better at cooking,” added William, “Kate would say I’m getting a lot worse.”
“I don’t give him enough chance to practice,” laughed Middleton.
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Bradby asked Middleton about her first impressions of the royal family. “I was quite nervous about meeting William's father, but he was very, very welcoming, very friendly, it couldn't have gone easier really for me.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.