While rugby ace Mike Tindall and Zara Phillips celebrate the birth of their first child, Mike's close friend and fellow England player, Chris Ashton, also has cause to rejoice. For the 26-year-old champion has scored one of the most important tries of his life – by proposing to his girlfriend, nanny Melissa Uzelac.
In an exclusive interview and photoshoot with HELLO! magazine, the rugby pro popped the question in New York.
"I had no idea Chris was about to propose," Melissa told HELLO!. "It really was a fairy-tale in New York; my best Christmas ever."
Chris also tells the magazine that he had been planning to propose to Melissa, his girlfriend of six-and-a-half years, for a while.
"I'd booked the trip a while ago, and had in the back of my mind that I'd ask Melissa to marry me," he said. "My family and friends were giving me stick about getting on with it. My knee was sore from bending down - I must be getting old!"
And, even at this special time, the couple say they are thinking about their friends Mike and Zara's new baby girl.
"I'll brush up on my babysitting skills, just in case!" Chris says. "Melissa's a children's nanny and loves babies. We hope to have at least one of our own one day."
See the full exclusive story in issue no. 1312 of HELLO! magazine, out now.