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Flashback Friday: the story behind Prince William and Kate's engagement

The couple's joy was clear to see on their faces

flashback friday will and kate
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It was the news royal watchers around the world had been waiting for, and in November 2010, the rumours were finally put to rest when Clarence House confirmed that Prince William was to marry his university sweetheart Kate Middleton. In the HELLO! offices in central London, just a few miles from where the engagement was announced, editorial staff poured over the first official photos of the bride and groom-to-be with glee.

"There was a flurry of excited activity – and loud cheers – in the HELLO! magazine office when a special announcement from Clarence House popped into our inboxes on 16 November 2010," Rosie Nixon, HELLO!'s editor-in-chief, recalls. "It was the official engagement statement for Prince William and Kate Middleton that we had been waiting to hear – and it also revealed that the wedding would be held in the spring or summer of 2011 in London.

flashback friday will and kate engagement© Photo: HELLO!

"There was a flurry of excited activity – and loud cheers – in the HELLO! magazine office," said Rosie

"We immediately set about putting together a special souvenir edition of HELLO! celebrating the news and documenting their relationship – including the happy images and words from their first interview as an engaged couple, which aired on television later that day."

Rosie adds: "The centrepiece to it all was the stunningly beautiful classic oval sapphire and diamond engagement ring worn by William's mother Diana and given to Kate when he proposed. It was such a poignant sight to see it gleaming on her wedding finger, as Kate posed with William in front of the world's press in her royal blue Daniella Issa Helayel dress. And it was lovely to see William's beaming smile. What a moment – what a day!"

Not long after, Kate's silk wrap dress, which complimented Diana's sapphire ring perfectly, sold out within 24 hours of the Duchess wearing it in public. It was just the beginning of the 'Kate effect' that would soon take hold.

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