TODAY   |  November 16, 2010

Prince William, Kate Middleton engaged!

Britain’s Prince William and longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton have announced their plans to marry in 2011. NBC’s Jim Maceda reports.

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>>> good morning. breaking news, it is official. the royal family has just announced that prince william and long-time girlfriend kate middleton are engaged. when did this happen? we have got all the details "today," tuesday, november 16, 2010 .

>>> welcome to "today" on a tuesday morning. i'm meredith viera .

>> and i'm in for matt who's probably kicking himself. this has been speculated about, discussed over the course of years and we can finally say prince william and kate middleton are finally getting married.

>> the actual engagement happened in october while the couple was on vacation in kenya .

>> they have been on and off. but it seems like they have been on, in fact we just heard about them being together, that's what started the talk recently is that they were together at wedding recently.

>> we look for sometime next year, spring or summer.

>> on the plaza.

>> that's right, on the plaza, we're going to let you choose their outfits.

>> nbc's jim maceda is actually at buckingham palace , jim what else can you tell us?

>> reporter: i'm not exactly sure what you have already said, this has been a real rush, it's taken everybody by surprise, including the international press and we're all here scurrying trying to get into position here outside buckingham palace to figure out this very succinct announcement from clarence house . i'll take a little bit of time to repeat what has been said. this is coming from the prince of wales. he says in this short statement that he is delighted to announce the engagement of prince william , his son, obviously to ms. katharine middleton . this will take place sometime in the spring or summer of 2011 . no specific date, there's been all kinds of speculation, how many spots have we done on the speculation in the past six months or a year? but he says this will take place in london, further details will be announced in due course. here's where there's news, prince william and kate middleton actually got engaged in october. there was a very secret safari that they went on in kenya in africa. in fact it was a game reserve belonging to a former girlfriend, who is now a very close friend. they spend ten days there in the wilderness of kenya . this is a present by william to himself to mark the fact that he had graduated, got his wings from the royal air force and became officially an officer ain the search and rescue field. the statement goes on to say that prince william has now notified the queen and other family members and he also sought the permission of the middleton family, specifically mentioning mr. middleton , michael middleton , the father. following the announcement of this short statement, the couple will be living in north wales , they already have a small cottage up there where prince william who's based in north wales , manages to break away and see his fiance to be, now fiance and to be wife. now they will become husband and wife up there in north wales as william pursues a career as a search and rescue pilot, and of course the king of england . this phase of his life could last three years or so.

>> any public reaction yet to the news?

>> reporter: well, we're hearing a lot of sirens, but i don't think that has anything to do with it. i think it's safe to say it's still early days meredith and early minutes in terms of the public reaction, but i don't think there's any question but that the majority of the british public who respect and love their monarchy as an institution will be anything but absolutely, utterly, they would say here delighted in this. this is really a match this many people believe will follow these things, who follow the royal family , this is the future of the institution. when you're talking about the future of the king, the queen, the throne of england, you usually hear them talking about wills and not so much about charles who will, if he does become king will be a very, one would think transitional king, taking it into the 21st century , this whole institution is really resting on the shoulders of william and now ms. katharine of this country. back to