Benedict Cumberbatch engaged: Who is Sophie Hunter?

by Benedict Cumberbatch once revealed that his father keeps his marriage alive by presenting his mother with a red rose every Monday. It's gestures like this the actor will surely be emulating after announcing his engagement to girlfriend Sophie Hunter.

So who is the winning brunette on the arm of Britain's current crush? Find out more with these HELLO! Online facts.

Sophie Hunter is a talented director and actress

1. Sophie is 36, born on 16 March, 1978.

2. Her friendship with Benedict dates back to 2009 when they starred in the fairytale thriller Burlesque Fairytales.

3. Like her fiancé, who is the great-grandson of Queen Victoria's consul general in Turkey, she comes from an illustrious family. Her maternal grandfather was General Sir James Michael Gow, who was a royal equerry.

Sophie Hunter and a friend at Weinstein Company do in New York

4. The actress/director appreciates old fashioned romantic gestures. Benedict flew to Edinburgh to ask the permission of her mother Katharine. Their engagement was announced in The Times.

5. She studied French and Italian at Oxford University, followed by a stint at the prestigious Jacques Lecoq theatre school in Paris and Saratoga International Theatre Institute in New York.

6. Her skills include puppetry. The cerebral beauty directed 69° South, an experimental play about the fateful voyage of Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton by having performers on stilts manipulate marionettes.

7. Sophie's also a songbird, once recording French-language music album The Isis Project in collaboration with Guy Chambers, who is Robbie Williams' songwriting partner.

8. Travel is a passion of hers: she's directed work in Palestine, Italy and Africa.

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