17 OCTOBER 2007

When Princess Anne's son Peter Phillips announced his engagement to Canadian girlfriend Autumn Kelly in July, the low-key couple found themselves thrust into the limelight. In the wake of all that extra attention the groom-to-be has been sparing a thought for his cousin Prince William and girlfriend Kate Middleton, admitting that, in comparison with the attention the reunited couple have received, he and his fiancée have got off lightly.

"Autumn and I have not had to endure the pressure William and Kate put up with," says Peter, who works for the Royal Bank of Scotland. "We have been left alone and touch wood, I hope it stays that way."

The tenth-in-line to the throne and 31-year-old Autumn - who grew up in the Canadian factory town of Peterborough - have largely conducted their romance out of the public eye, closely guarding the details of their relationship. He has confirmed the couple - who met at the Canadian Grand Prix three years ago - will marry in Britain, probably next year.

He's also revealed how six weeks before the couple announced they were to wed, reports circulated that they were already engaged, much to the disgruntlement of his dad, Captain Mark Phillips. "My father thought we'd announced it without telling him," remembers Peter. "I told him we hadn't. We weren't quite ready."

Photo: ©
The Queen's grandson says the couple - pictured on their first public outing after announcing their engagement in July - have avoided the intense interest surrounding the relationship between his cousin Prince William and Kate MiddletonPhoto: © Getty ImagesClick on photo to enlarge