TODAY   |  November 17, 2010

Prince: ‘Real relief’ to announce engagement

After nearly a month keeping their Kenyan engagement under wraps, Prince William and fiancée Kate Middleton formally announce their big news to the world, saying “it's a real relief.” TODAY’s Natalie Morales reports.

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This content comes from a Full-Text Transcript of the program.

MEREDITH VIEIRA, co-host: But let us begin, where else, but Buckingham Palace . TODAY national correspondent Natalie Morales has made her way over there overnight. Morning to you, Nat .

NATALIE MORALES reporting: Good morning to you, Meredith . And could the headlines be any bigger or bolder here. As you see, the Daily Telegraph , " Kate 's Very Special"; the Daily Mail, "With This Ring, Di Thee Wed." Of course, a lot of the focus on the ring, in fact, but they've been waiting a long time for this day here, as you know, of course, as long as pretty much Kate Middleton herself over the better part of the last eight years. And, of course, as you mentioned, the spotlight shining brighter than ever and the couple did not disappoint as they shared their first interview as royals now newly engaged. The royal couple, who may one day be king and queen, yesterday talked about their engagement. So how did William pop the question?

Ms. KATE MIDDLETON: We had a wonderful holiday in Africa and it was -- it was out there and in a very quiet lodge. And no, it was very romantic and it was very personal.

Offscreen Voice #1: And did he get down on one knee?

Prince WILLIAM: You'll have to wait and see. That's going to stay a secret, Peter .

Offscreen Voice #2: Prince William , why did it take you so long to propose?

Prince WILLIAM: Well, in our society, I don't remember how many years it's been, forget the memory. I also didn't realize it was a race, otherwise, I probably would have been a lot quicker. But also the timing is right now. We're both very, very happy and I'm very glad that I have done it.

MORALES: In her first interview before the world, a rather nervous Kate talked about becoming part of the royal family .

Ms. MIDDLETON: It's quite a daunting prospect, but, you know, hopefully, I'll take it in my stride. And William 's a great teacher so he'll be able to help me along the way.

MORALES: And that fabulous sapphire and diamond ring , it was William 's mother's back in 1981 . Kate 's parents expressed their joy.

Mr. MICHAEL MIDDLETON (Kate's Father): Carol and I are absolutely delighted by today's announcement and thrilled at the prospect of a wedding sometime next year.

MORALES: A reaction echoed around the country.

Unidentified Woman: I heard the news and it was absolutely wonderful.

CAMILLA, Duchess of Cornwall: I'm just so happy for both of them. They are so happy, and it's wicked.

Prince CHARLES: Obviously thrilled, thank you very much . Practicing for long enough.

MORALES: A cheeky reference to the eight years the couple have been dating, And in their first sit-down interview...

Mr. TOM BRADBY (Royal Correspondent, ITV): Congratulations.

MORALES: ... William and Kate talked to ITN 's correspondent Tom Bradby about how they were feeling.

Mr. BRADBY: It has to be said, you both look incredibly happy and relaxed.

Prince WILLIAM: We are, we are. We're like sort of ducks, sort of very calm on the surface, but little feet going under the water. But, no, it's been really exciting. We've been talking about it for a long time, so for us it's kind of -- it's a real relief and it's really nice to be able to tell everybody.

Mr. BRADBY: And you knew you were going to do this from day one of the whole day, or you waited until the end?

Prince WILLIAM: I -- I'd been planning it for a while, but as every guy out there will know, it's -- it takes a certain amount of motivation to get yourself going. So I was planning it and then it just felt really right out in Africa .

Ms. MIDDLETON: I really didn't expect it at all. I thought he might have sort maybe thought about it, but, no, it was a total shock when it came and very excited.

Mr. BRADBY: People are bound to ask, you know, it's a bit of an obvious question, but children, do you want lots of children? Is, you know, see what comes? What's your...

Prince WILLIAM: I think we'll take it one step at a time . We'll sort of get over the marriage thing first and then maybe look at the kids. But obviously, you know, we want a family. So, you know, we'll have to start thinking about that.

MORALES: Now of course, the royal wedding planning is already well under way; no date set just yet, but of course as you've heard, there's talk that it could be a spring or summer of 2011 wedding. Prince William has also said to be favoring Westminster Abbey as the location. That's where the queen herself was married and where the funeral for his mother was held. He's also reportedly said he wants this to be a low-key affair. But as you can imagine, that will hardly be the case. Many here already talking about this wedding as being the wedding of the century. More than a billion worldwide are expected