James Middleton has become engaged to his French girlfriend after he popped the question in secret with a sapphire ring.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s brother, 32, proposed to Alizee Thevenet privately but is set to announce it formally next week.
One of their friends said: ‘They’ve got engaged. Alizee has been wearing a beautiful sapphire sparkler.
‘They’ve been keeping the engagement secret, but news has started to leak out among their friends. They’ll be announcing it formally next week.’
It comes after Buckingham Palace announced Princess Beatrice had become engaged to property tycoon Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi on September 26.
Mr Middleton’s choice of ring may have been inspired by the sapphire engagement one worn by sister Kate, which Prince William inherited from Princess Diana.
Last month it was revealed the couple had moved in together in West London.
A friend said at the time: ‘He seems finally to have found “The One”.’
The entrepreneur, who runs personalised greeting card company Boomf, met the 29-year-old City worker last year.
A friend revealed Miss Thevenet did not know who Mr Middleton was when they started talking at the South Kensington Club after she said hello to his Cocker Spaniel Ella.
James Middleton and Alizee Thevenet attend the wedding of Lady Gabriella Windsor and Mr Thomas Kingston at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle on May 18
The source said at the time: ‘After Alizee went back to her table, James asked the waiter to give her a note saying: “I never normally do this, but would you like to go for a drink with me?” He also picked up their tab. A few weeks later, they went out for a drink together.
‘It wasn’t until after they’d met for a drink that Alizee realised who he was — one of her friends had to tell her. They met thanks to Ella.’
The couple were spotted kissing during his New Year family getaway to the Caribbean island of St Barts in January.
According to Miss Thevenet’s father, Jean-Gabriel Thevenet, she was won over by Mr Middleton’s British charm and is ‘deliriously happy’ with the businessman.
He also revealed her unusual name takes after a tropical wind known in French as the Alize.
He added: ‘My daughter is named after my first love which is wind-surfing and the Alize wind that fills the sails.’
Miss Thevenet is a keen skier who speaks four languages, helped by growing up in Chile, Indonesia and Belgium.
She moved to Britain six years ago and has a masters degree in investment and finance from Queen Mary University of London.
Mr Middleton split up with his former girlfriend – actress Donna Air – at the beginning of 2018 after a five-year romance.
The couple declined to comment.
Princess Beatrice, 31, and Mr Mapelli Mozzi, who is a father-of-one, started dating in October last year.
They said of their 11-month whirlwind romance in a statement: ‘We are extremely happy to be able to share the news of our recent engagement.
‘We are both so excited to be embarking on this life adventure together and can’t wait to actually be married.
‘We share so many similar interests and values, and we know that this will stand us in great stead for the years ahead, full of love and happiness.’
Engagement photos, taken by sister Princess Eugenie in the grounds of Windsor Great Park, show Beatrice wearing a green floral £595 Zimmerman dress and showing off her 3.5 carat engagement ring by Shaun Leane, estimated to have cost £100,000, along with a £2,730 Cartier love bracelet.