Pippa Middleton is engaged to her hedge fund manager boyfriend James Matthews, a close friend has confirmed to HELLO!. The happy news comes less than a year after the couple first started dating, with reports stating that James popped the question last weekend during a romantic break in the Lake District.
The engagement, which is said to have taken Pippa, 32, by complete surprise, has delighted her family. Her sister, the Duchess of Cambridge, née Kate Middleton, and her husband Prince William are said to be thrilled by the news, as are the bride-to-be's parents Carole and Michael Middleton.
Pippa Middleton is engaged to hedge fund manager James Matthews
According to the Daily Mail, James, 40, asked Michael for Pippa's hand in marriage before the proposal. "James is a traditionalist and very much wanted to do things properly," a friend of the couple's revealed. "That meant getting the consent of his future father-in-law."
A family friend told the newspaper: "Mike and Carole are very happy. They like James and they are sure he will make Pippa very happy."
Pippa and James – the older brother of Made In Chelsea star Spencer Matthews – first started dating back in 2012. Following their split, she dated banker Nico Jackson for three years but they ended their relationship last year, and in September there were rumours that she had rekindled her romance with James.
Pippa kept her left hand hidden from view as she attended an event on Monday evening
Since then, their relationship has gone from strength to strength. The couple have a shared love of outdoor pursuits – namely running, skiing, swimming and cycling – which has only helped to strengthen their bond, and they have been virtually inseparable since seeing in the New Year in St Barts, where his parents own the exclusive Eden Rock Hotel.
Just a few weeks ago, the couple attended Wimbledon together, and onlookers remarked how blissfully happy they seemed, eliciting whispers that an engagement could be on the cards.
Now, with the happy news confirmed, thoughts will turn to the wedding – expected to take place next year – as Pippa and James prepare for the next exciting chapter of their lives together.