Kate Middleton's parents 'delighted' by royal engagement
The parents of Prince William's fiancee Kate Middleton said Tuesday they were delighted by news of the couple's engagement, adding that they were "extremely fond" of their future son-in-law.
Carole and Michael Middleton, who run a children's party business that has made them millionaires, gave their reaction to the engagement outside their home in the Berkshire countryside in southeast England.
"I would just like to say that Carole and I are absolutely delighted by today's announcement and thrilled at the prospect of a wedding some time next year," said Michael Middleton, reading from a statement.
"As you know Catherine and Prince William have been going out together for quite a number of years which is great for us because we've got to know William really well," he added.
"We all think he's wonderful and we're extremely fond of him. They make a lovely couple, they're great fun to be with and we've had a a lot of laughs together.
"We wish them every happiness for the future."
The Middletons were accompanied by staff from Clarence House -- the official residence of Prince Charles and his sons William and Harry -- while they made the announcement.
Speculation about the royal nuptials reached fever pitch following the news this month that Middleton's parents had joined a private shooting party at Charles's private residence in Scotland.
Middleton's father was an airline steward and later became a flight dispatcher in charge of looking after the British Airways fleet on the ground, while her mother was an air stewardess -- a fact reportedly mocked by some of William's aristocratic friends.
© 2010 AFP