Pippa Middleton is engaged, Prince Harry is relieved

After a whirlwind romance, Pippa Middleton is engaged to be married to hedge fund manager James Matthews.

Pippa Middleton is all smiles as she steps out in London after announcing her engagement to James Matthews on July 19, 2016.

Five years ago Pippa Middleton, the younger sister of Duchess Kate, was catapulted to global stardom wearing that Alexander McQueen bridesmaid dress as she held the trail of her sister’s wedding gown before they walked down the aisle in Westminster Abbey. After the ceremony, everyone who watched couldn’t help but play match-maker: it was just too tempting to think that she would make the perfect match for Kate’s new brother-in-law, Prince Harry. They are similar ages, both very ridiculously good looking, and they seemed to have some flirtatious exchanges on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. Alas, that was not meant to be, and Prince Harry and Pippa spent many years trying to clear up that they were not an item. Still, there are plenty of young ladies all over the world who secretly hope that they will be the ones get to marry Harry one day! (Think you still have a shot? We made a list of all the qualities Prince Harry might be looking for in a girlfriend.)

Pippa Middleton and Prince Harry

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Pippa Middleton, Prince Harry and James Middleton on the balcony of Buckingham Palace following the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine at Westminster Abbey on April 2011 in London. George Pimentel | Getty Images

But now 32-year-old Pippa, a young socialite, party planner, and keen athlete like her big sister Kateraising money for countless charities through different sporting challenges, such as her 3000 mile charity cycle across America in June 2014is set to marry her 40-year-old beau, James Matthews, after a whirlwind romance (those of us not in the royal family can only speculate as to when the two really started dating, somewhere around September 2015). According to Richard Kay of the Daily Mail, James, a dashing financier by profession, was the perfect gentleman, firstly by asking Pippa’s father, Mike, for her hand in marriage and then by going down on one knee as he popped the question, presenting Pippa with an exquisite Asscher cut diamond ring that would make any girl’s heart flutter.

Pippa Middleton and James Matthews

Pippa and James Matthews attend day nine of the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at Wimbledon on July 06, 2016 in London. Karwai Tang | Getty Images

Just today the world caught a glimpse of the ring-finger sparkler (with a middle stone thought to be well over 3 carats and worth upwards of an estimated $260,000!) as Pippa left her home wearing a bridal-white knee-length dress with cut-out detailing. She also donned matching pearl drop earrings, and a basic cross-body brown leather bag. The simple ensemble only enhanced the beauty of her large ring, but Pippa’s broad smile was the accessory that really shone out. Pippa looked blissfully happy as she smiled for the waiting cameras before heading off to an unknown location … possibly to get those wedding preparations under way? And being from a family of party plannersher parents own a hugely successful online party business that her mother started from home called Party Piecesthe wedding promises to be a fantastic but tasteful, and definitely royal, affair.

Pippa Middleton is all smiles as she steps out in London, England after announcing her engagement to James Matthews on July 19, 2016. The sister of Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, was dressed in a knee-length white dress and flat brown sandals and a matching brown purse. FameFlynet, Inc – Beverly Hills, CA, USA – +1 (310) 505-9876 RESTRICTIONS APPLY: USA/CHINA ONLY

Pippa Middleton’s sparkling engagement ring. FameFlynetUK | Fameflynet Pictures

Although it is still early days, it will be interesting to see if Pippa calls upon her big sister Kate to return the favor and act as matron of honor for her little sister … and to see what dress she might wear! And we suspect her little nephew and niece, Prince George and one-year-old Princess Charlotte, will be making an appearance in the bridal party, too. The Evening Standard has reported that the Prince, who turns three-years-old this Friday, will be asked to be a page boy or ring bearer. Not only would he be the perfect age for the job, but he might bring a touch of mischief too! No matter what, though, we know he’ll be impeccably dressed, just like the bride.

Cerith Gardiner
Cerith Gardiner
Cerith Gardiner was born in London and has been living in Paris for 14 years. She spends her time working as an English consultant, acting as taxi driver to her four children, and wondering if she'll ever be as stylish as the French.

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