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Will Prince William and Kate Middleton announce their engagement this summer?

07 APRIL 2010

Fuel was added to the fire of royal wedding speculation this week after claims were made by a royal expert that she has been told Buckingham Palace has "cleared its diary" for a June announcement of the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

The assertions were made by Tina Brown – former Vanity Fair editor, author and personal friend and biographer of William's late mother Princess Diana.

She says that aides will deliver the news on either June 3 or 4 and a wedding will follow in November.

Tina writes on a blog on her news website The Daily Beast: "A high-placed source in royal circles tells me that two days in June have been mysteriously blocked out on the palace diaries - June 3 and 4.

"They suggest this is a likely date for the engagement announcement at last of the 27-year-old Prince William and his patient squeeze, 28-year-old Kate Middleton.

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"If so, a wedding itself would probably follow in November, like the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, who married at Westminster Abbey that cold, damp November day in 1947."

For the venue, she predicts St George's chapel at Windsor, Where Prince Charles and Camilla tied the knot in 2005.

The blog entry has sparked wide debate over whether the royal sweethearts will in fact marry this year.

Commentators have said a royal wedding in an election year would be highly unlikely – especially with the possibilty of a hung parliament meaning a further election could take place later in the year.

Plus William's schedule is packed – one source has said that he would be doing training at RAF Valley on Anglesey on June 3 and 4. This would make him unavailable to travel to London to formally announce the engagement, in line with tradition.

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