How did Prince William propose to Kate? When did Prince Philip get down on one knee? How many royals have got engaged at Balmoral? Who got engaged without their parents permission!?

From African safaris to the Scottish highlands, low-key engagements to global press announcements, the royal family have had their fair share of romantic and memorable proposals. From the most romantic to the most scandalous, here’s how the royal family’s most famous couples got engaged…

The Queen & Prince Philip

It is well known that although Prince Philip was a regular visitor to Buckingham Palace (see the Queen’s personal letters about the dashing Prince HERE) their courtship was still kept as secret as possible as the Queen was still a teenager. In the summer of 1946, the Queen invited Phillip to spend time with her and the royal family at Balmoral Castle.

During their month long stay, Phillip got down on one knee while they were walking the grounds. He presented Elizabeth with a platinum engagement ring with a large square diamond. She accepted immediately, without her parent’s approval! Back at Balmoral, her father approved the match. However, there was a condition. The couple had to keep the engagement a secret until after the Queen’s 21st birthday.

Prince Philip

You can read the Queen and Prince Philip’s love story in full HERE.

Prince William & Kate

After eight years together, William finally asked Kate to marry him while the couple were on holiday in Kenya in October 2010. Prince William confessed that he wanted the engagement ‘to mean something’, so although he didn’t spend time planning an elaborate proposal, he chose the timing and location to pop the question carefully.

how did Prince William propose to Kate

William chose the moment to get down on one knee while the pair were staying in a secluded and rustic log cabin lying at the foothills of Mount Kenya. During an interview with CNN, Prince William explained why Kenya was such a special place for him to propose. “I regularly daydream. Africa is definitely one of the places I go to. It does completely settle me down. [Kate] understands what it means to me being in Africa, and my love of conservation.”

Using his mother’s iconic engagement ring, Prince William revealed he caught Kate unawares with the proposal, when the moment felt right.

“I didn’t really plan it that far in advance,” William confessed. “I just knew I wanted it to feel comfortable where I did it.”

Kate also revealed her surprise when asked about the engagement.  “We were out there [in Kenya] with friends, so I really didn’t expect it at all,” she told ITV News. “It was a total shock when it came. Very excited!”

Prince William was determined to use his mother’s engagement ring as he said it was a, “way of making sure my mother didn’t miss out on today and the excitement”.

See William and Kate’s love story in pictures HERE.

Prince Edward & Sophie

Edward proposed to Sophie in 1999 after five years of dating. The Queen’s youngest son chose to get down on one knee during a romantic Christmas holiday on Windemere Island in the Bahamas! Sophie’s response to the two-carat oval diamond is said to be “yes, yes please!” However, much like the Queen after she got engaged, the couple had to keep the engagement secret until they received Sophie’s father’s permission!

Prince Andrew & Sarah


Although they may now be divorced, Prince Andrew’s proposal to Sarah was super romantic and thoughtful. The Prince proposed to Sarah on his twenty-sixth birthday, at Scotland’s Floors Castle – the exact location they had their first kiss! Prince Andrew also specially designed the engagement ring. The stunning ring featured ten diamonds surrounding a Burmese ruby. He chose the Burmese ruby to complement Sarah’s red hair.