Up until now little has been known about Peter's 29-year-old live-in love, who grew up in the Canadian factory town of Peterborough with twin brother Chris and elder brother Kevin. "Autumn was not brought up in that environment, the aristocracy. She was brought up as a down-to-earth girl and she and Peter will be just fine for that reason," says her father, retired electricity company executive Brian Kelly
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All eyes were on Peter and his 29-year-old fiancée - especially Autumn's dazzling engagement band which is reportedly worth £80,000
Photo: © Rex
6 AUGUST 2007
Last week's announcement that Princess Anne's son Peter Phillips is to wed his Canadian girlfriend Autumn Kelly was the news royal watchers had been waiting for. So understandably there was a buzz of excitement surrounding this year's Festival Of British Eventing - the place where the pair were expected to make their first public outing as an engaged couple.
All eyes were on Peter and his 29-year-old fiancée as the couple arrived at the three-day equestrian event on Princess Anne's Gatcombe Park estate. And sure enough, there on display for the first time was Autumn's dazzling engagement band – reportedly worth £80,000.
The pair have conducted their relationship largely out of the limelight and until now very little has been known about Autumn, who grew up in the Canadian factory town of Peterborough with twin brother Chris and elder brother Kevin. Her proud father, retired electricity company executive Brian Kelly, has been speaking to the British press about the news that his daughter is to wed a member of the British royal family.
"I've met Peter, of course," he told The Daily Mail. "He's a nice fella. And I met Princess Anne a year ago when I visited Autumn and Peter at Gatcombe Park."
While the Kelly family's background is very different to that of Peter - who's tenth in line to the throne - Brian has no worries about their compatibility he says. "Autumn was not brought up in that environment, the aristocracy. She was brought up as a down-to-earth girl and she and Peter will be just fine for that reason."
The arrival of the newly-engaged couple wasn't the only thing drawing attention at the event. Taking to the course on Toytown for Friday's dressage section, Peter's sister Zara was finding her mount surprisingly intractable. "He has never been this naughty before. He doesn't deserve to take part in the cross country," joked the world champion.
Meanwhile keeping a watchful eye on their daughter's progress from the sidelines were Princess Anne and her ex-husband Captain Mark Phillips. Zara's dad has designed the course for the event for the last 25 years and the pair are clearly on good terms, sharing a joke and greeting each other with a peck on the cheek.
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