Kate Middleton's Family "Thrilled" Over Engagement

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Kate Middleton's parents are thrilled Prince William has proposed.

"I would just like to say that Carole and I are absolutely delighted by today's announcement and thrilled by the prospect of a wedding sometime next year," her father Michael Middleton said Tuesday.

The prince and Middleton, both 28, have been dating for eight years, after meeting at St. Andrews University in Scotland.

Said her father, "As you know Catherine and Prince William have been going out for quite a number of years, which is great for us because we have got to know William very well. We think he's wonderful and we're extremely fond of him.

"They make a lovely couple," he also said. "They're great fun to be with and we've had a lot of laughs together. We wish them every happiness for the future."

A Buckingham Palace rep tells UsMagazine.com: "Both Her Majesty the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are absolutely delighted for them both."