Prince William proposed on Kenyan game reserve: owners

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Prince William asked Kate Middleton to marry him on a private wildlife reserve in central Kenya last month, the head of the Lewa reserve confirmed Wednesday.

"Yesterday's announcement of Prince William and Kate Middleton's engagement comes to us all in Kenya and indeed around the world as the most wonderful and refreshing news," Ian Craig and his wife Jane said in a statement sent to AFP.

"On behalf of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy together with Prince William's many Kenyan friends we wish to send our warmest congratulations to him and Kate on this most special occasion," the statement added.

"We have all been wishing for this day and for them to have chosen to make their decision to spend the rest of their lives together whilst in Africa amongst the elephants and rhinos at Lewa for which Prince William has been such an Ambassador makes this all the more special for Kenya and its people."

Clarence House, the residence and office of Prince Charles and his sons William and Harry, announced Tuesday that William, the second-in-line to the British throne, had proposed to Middleton during a holiday in Kenya three weeks ago.

Williams was spotted in the Lewa conservancy in mid-October, a witness, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

The Craig family, who set up the Lewa conservancy in 1955, is close to Prince William who spent three months there at the end of his secondary education.

Located 225 kilometers (153 miles) north of Nairobi, Lewa is renowned for its efforts to protect black rhinos which are threatened with extinction due to widespread poaching.

"We wish them well on their new Safari and Kenya stands proud to have once again been host to such a historic occasion for Great Britain's Royal family," the Craigs said.

William's grandmother Queen Elizabeth succeeded her father as monarch on his death in February 1952 as she was staying with her husband Prince Philip at another Kenyan wildlife reserve, the Treetops Hotel.

© 2010 AFP

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