• James Matthews, 40, popped the question to Pippa Middleton, 32
• It happened last weekend while the pair were in the Lake District
• The millionaire asked her father Michael Middleton for his consent
• The proposal left Duchess of Cambridge’s sister ‘completely surprised’
• A lavish society wedding is thought to be on the cards for 2017
• Source said: ‘I would say she’s the lucky one. He’s one hell of a catch’
Heads down against the breeze that blows across the peaks of the Lake District on the sunniest of days, the couple had their eyes on a distant hill.
Like other weekend walkers out on the fells last Saturday, Pippa Middleton and her boyfriend James Matthews paused to enjoy the magnificent views from the summit and to catch their breath.
But as Pippa took in the scenery, her romantic beau was dropping to his knees and preparing an even more spectacular sight – drawing out a stunning diamond ring from deep within a pocket.
Kneeling before her James asked Pippa to marry him. And within a moment she said ‘yes’ and suddenly Britain’s most eligible young woman was off the market.
Less than a year after she began properly dating the handsome hedge fund manager (they were briefly an item in 2012) the Duchess of Cambridge’s sister is now engaged to be married.
Their wedding – almost certain to be held next year – will be the most glamorous and talked about match since Kate Middleton’s to Prince William five years ago.
It was the Royal Wedding in 2011, of course, that propelled Pippa to global fame after her star turn as her sister’s chief bridesmaid and – thanks to a figure-hugging dress – the nickname of ‘her royal hotness’.
The engagement, which I understand took the 32-year-old former party planner completely by surprise, has thrilled Kate and William and delighted the duchess’s parents Michael and Carole Middleton.