Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Gayle King reveals how Oprah Winfrey helped plan her son's proposal

The CBS Mornings shares two children with her ex-husband Bill Bumpus

Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey attend the 66th GRAMMY Awards at Arena on February 04, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.
Ahad Sanwari
Ahad Sanwari - New York
Senior WriterNew York
Share this:

Gayle King is on cloud nine as the proud mama celebrates her son William Bumpus Jr., aka her "favorite son Will," finally finding his "one."

The 36-year-old is engaged to girlfriend Elise Smith, which the CBS Mornings anchor announced on Monday, and it seems like she got a little help from her friends and family.

Watch in the video below how Gayle recruited her best friend Oprah Winfrey to help plan her son's magical proposal…

Gayle King and Oprah Winfrey help plan son Will's proposal

Other photos and videos from the round-up Gayle, 69, posted saw her and other loved ones excitedly watch as Will got down on one knee, with the TV anchor even being told off by the others around her to be more discreet.

After popping the question in a beautiful lawn (and getting his "yes"), Will and Elise walked back to their waiting families, who gave them a round of applause after making their first appearance as a newly engaged couple.

They then posed for photos with Gayle, her daughter Kirby, Kirby's two-year-old son Luca, and Oprah as well, making a toast to the fiancés.

View post on Instagram

Gayle gushed on Instagram: "It has happened! Favorite son @willgb3 has found his person and I now have a favorite daughter-in-law to be: The lovely @elisemariesmith! 

"There were a lot of cooks in the kitchen and a lot of planning went into this moment, so here's some behind the scenes…now just waiting for the date of the wedding!"

MORE: Oprah Winfrey seen like never before in intimate family video shared by Gayle King for birthday – watch

Iman, Niecy Nash, Sharon Stone, Rita Wilson, Viola Davis, and many more shared congratulatory messages for the mother-in-law to be, and she reiterated her joy once again the following day on CBS Mornings.

Gayle King with her children Will and Kirby, plus her grandson Luca© Instagram
Gayle is a mom to son Will and daughter Kirby, and a doting grandmom to Luca

"Favorite son Will is engaged!" she exclaimed on the show, revealing that the proposal had actually taken place a few weeks ago but she had been "sworn to secrecy, which was very difficult."

The mom-of-two explained that Will had coordinated the special moment, getting everyone involved to wear browns and tans, because Elise's favorite color is brown, and telling his girlfriend that they were going out for brunch.

MORE: Gayle King turns heads in bold swimsuit photo with lookalike niece

She also revealed that her son made the sweetest gesture by flying her parents out for the big day, so when Elise walked back into the house, she got emotional upon seeing her mom and dad there as well.

Oprah Winfrey (L) and US television personality Gayle King attend the 3rd Annual Academy Museum Gala © Getty Images
Oprah, godmother to Kirby, was right by her best friend's side for the big moment

Gayle continued: "[Will] said to me the other day, 'It's so fun being engaged, it's so fun being in love.' So I'm happy for them both. Now I'm just waiting for the wedding date!"

MORE: Gayle King's whispered bathroom calls to Oprah revealed in touching tribute

She also added that she was annoyed to not be there on the lawn so she could jump out once it happened, but had been given "strict instructions" to watch from afar, to the amusement of her co-hosts.

View post on Instagram

"Tony [Dokoupil], I would've hidden behind a tree! But I at least wanted to hear," she exclaimed, and added: "I don't even think he wanted us watching from the window. But at least we got to see the moment, and that was nice."

Get the lowdown on the biggest, hottest celebrity news, features, and profiles coming out of the U.S. Sign up to our HELLO! Hollywood newsletter and get them delivered straight to your inbox. 

More Parenting

See more