UPDATE: Pippa Middleton is, in fact, engaged to hedge-fund millionaire James Matthews. The couple released a statement on Tuesday, July 19, confirming the news after the story was first revealed by long-time royals reporter Richard Kay of the Daily Mail.
“Miss Pippa Middleton and Mr. James Matthews are delighted to announce they became engaged on Sunday, July 17 and plan to marry next year,” the couple said in a statement. The beaming future bride acknowledged her engagement with photographers early Tuesday while leaving her home in London. Middleton flashed her sparkling (and large) ring and told the shutterbugs that she “couldn’t be happier.”
Engagement speculation started on Monday, July 18, when Kate Middleton’s fabulous younger sister, 32, appeared at the British Heart Foundation, where she suspiciously concealed her left hand from photographers and bystanders. Hours later, Kay confirmed that she was engaged to Matthews, 40.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s sibling — also the aunt of Prince George and Princess Charlotte — looked fashion-forward at the event in an L.K. Bennett floral maxi dress. She was joined at the swanky summer party by other members of the royal family, including Princess Eugenie.
Kay reported that Matthews reportedly popped the question at a scenic Lake District of northwest England. According to the journalist, Matthews asked family patriarch, Michael Middleton, for his daughter’s hand in marriage. “They make a wonderful couple and we wish them every happiness together,” Michael told People in a statement on Tuesday.
A Kensington Palace spokesperson also told the outlet, “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are absolutely delighted with the news.”
Pippa first captivated headlines while serving as Maid of Honor in the Royal Wedding in April 2011. Matthews is the chief executive at London-based investment advisory firm Eden Rock Capital Management.
The couple first got together in 2012, but their initial chemistry was short-lived. Though their relationship didn’t pan out at the time — Pippa dated Nico Jackson for several years before splitting last fall — they rekindled their romance in January.