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Princess Eugenie Reveals the Romantic Way Her Boyfriend of 7 Years Proposed: It Was a “Complete Surprise”

LONDON, ENGLAND -JANUARY 22: Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace after they announced their engagement. Princess Eugenie wears a dress by Erdem, shoes by Jimmy Choo and a ring containing a padparadscha sapphire surrounded by diamonds on January 22, 2018 in London, England.. They are to marry at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in the autumn this year. (Photo by Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The element of surprise! Princess Eugenie and her longtime love, Jack Brooksbank, may have been dating for seven years when they went on a sunset stroll in front of a volcano in Nicaragua earlier this month, but she was still shocked when he got down on one knee to ask for her hand in marriage.

“I was over the moon,” Eugenie said during a joint interview with BBC 1’s Matt Baker. “[It was a] complete surprise. But it was the perfect moment, we couldn’t be happier.” Added Brooksbank, “It was amazing. I love Eugenie so much, and we’re very happy.”

Brooksbank, 31, didn’t have a ring on hand when he popped the question, however; as he explained to Baker, he “didn’t want to do anything until Eugenie had signed off on it.” Instead, he said, he selected a padparadscha sapphire stone (a rare pink-orange stone usually found in Sri Lanka), and the couple designed the ring together when they returned to the U.K.

“The lake was so beautiful,” Eugenie said of the sunset setting. “The light was just a special light I had never seen. I actually said, ‘This is an incredible moment,’ and then he popped the question, which was really surprising even though we have been together seven years.”

Eugenie, 27, and Brooksbank first met during a ski trip in Verbier, Switzerland, seven years ago. To hear the pair tell it, sparks flew the instant they met.

“[We] fell in love,” she told the BBC. “We have the same passions and drive for life.”

The pair will get married next fall at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle, the same place Prince Harry and Meghan Markle will exchange vows this spring.

Of introducing Brooksbank into her royal family, Eugenie said there hasn’t been any issues.

“Granny [Queen Elizabeth] actually knew right at the beginning [of the engagement],” she said. “She was very happy, as was my grandfather [Prince Philip].”