Prince William and Kate Middleton will get married, Members of Parliament have been told.
A House of Commons select committee has heard that William, 24, had spoken openly about his plans.
Respected royal photographer Arthur Edwards – who has been honoured with the MBE by the Queen – told the MPs: “She’s in love with Prince William. I’m sure one day they’ll get married.
I have talked to him about that and he’s made it clear… he wants to get married.”
Clarence House today refused to comment on his plans to marry, saying: “Prince William has no plans to get engaged.”
The couple met at St Andrews University in September 2001 when they both studied History of Art.
At the time Miss Middleton was dating another student, Rupert Finch, but was sharing a student house with the prince.
They began dating, in secret, around Christmas 2003. Their relationship first became public when they were photographed together on a ski holiday with Prince Charles in 2004.
Since graduating the couple have holidayed together regularly and spend weekends together at her Chelsea apartment.
Discussing the alleged hounding of Miss Middleton by paparazzi on her 25th birthday in January, Edwards told the Commons culture, media and sport committee: “I felt very sorry for that girl. I just didn’t want anything to do with that.”
Edwards also stressed that a scrum of photographers outside her London home in the days before her birthday reminded him of the “feeding frenzy” over Diana.
“When I saw the pictures the next day I was horrified. It does remind me of what happened to Princess Diana and I do hope we don’t make that same mistake again here,” he said.
The Commons committee was examining self-regulation of the press and called on Edwards to give evidence.
His comments emerged during questioning by MPs about the intrusion suffered by the Prince’s girlfriend and the impact it could have on a future privacy law.
News International chairman Les Hinton was also giving evidence to MPs and said that the media scrum outside her home in January this year was fuelled by speculation that they were about to get engaged.
Mr Hinton also stressed there was a feeling that “something is going to go wrong here” when it emerged how many photographers were trying to take shots.
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