kate-william-engagement

Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton nine years ago this week - how it happened

They dreamed of having a big family

Danielle Stacey

 The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have just returned from their successful five-day tour of Pakistan, in time to celebrate a significant occasion - it's been nine years since their engagement! Although the pair didn't officially make the announcement until 16 November 2010, William revealed he proposed to his girlfriend, the then Kate Middleton, of nine years while on a trip to Kenya with friends a few weeks earlier in October. They signed a guestbook at Rutundu Cabin at the foot of Mount Kenya, which suggests it was the magical place where there engagement began. 

In the note dated 20 - 21 October 2010, Kate hinted that it had been a special stay, writing: "Thank you for such a wonderful 24 hours! Sadly no fish to be found but we had fun trying. I love the warm fires and candle lights—so romantic. Hope to be back soon." William added: "Such fun to be back! Brought more clothes this time! Looked after so well. Thank you guys! Look forward to next time, soon I hope."

READ: Kate Middleton's new L.K. Bennett dress is PERFECT for that in between autumn weather

Kate and William on their wedding day in 2011

In their first interview after announcing the engagement, the Prince explained he'd planned it for a while and carried his mother's sapphire and diamond engagement ring in his rucksack for three weeks before proposing and was terrified of losing it. Kate called the moment "very romantic," before admitting it was a "total shock," but the couple admitted they'd discussed marriage with each other a lot in the previous year. William loves Africa and felt it was the perfect opportunity to finally ask Kate to marry him.

Kate and William with their children at Trooping the Colour

Talking about how important family is to both of them, Kate said at the time: "It's very important to me and I hope we'll be able to have a happy family ourselves," before William added: "Obviously we want a family, so we'll have to start thinking about that." William and Kate then wed the following spring on 29 April 2011 in a fairytale ceremony at Westminster Abbey and were given the titles, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Kate looked stunning in a lace and satin wedding dress, designed by Sarah Burton, the creative director for Alexander McQueen and was loaned the Cartier Halo tiara from the Queen. 

VIDEO: All the best outfits from Kate Middleton's royal tours

The couple are now parents to three children, welcoming Prince George on 22 July 2013, followed by daughter Princess Charlotte on 2 May 2015 and Prince Louis on 23 April 2018. The Cambridge kids are growing up fast, with George now in Year 2 at Thomas's school in Battersea, with Charlotte having just joined him in reception last month. 

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