The biggest wedding news of the year is the upcoming royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, which will occur at 11 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time on Friday, April 29 in Westminster Abbey. After dating for some seven years and privately discussing marriage for about a year, William reportedly proposed to Kate on a holiday to Africa with friends in October 2010. According to interviews, William carried his mother's diamond cluster ring in his pocket for a few weeks before the proposal, waiting for the right moment, but Kate was not expecting William's romantic proposal since they were visiting Kenya with friends. Their engagement was announced by the royal family on November 16, 2010. The ring that William used to propose to Kate is his mother's engagement ring, an 18 carat sapphire ring surrounded by small diamonds. This diamond cluster ring has sentimental value for William, and he told Britain's Sky News that his use of the ring is his way to include his mother in the excitement of his upcoming marriage, even though she is not alive to celebrate William and Kate's union. William and Kate met at St. Andrew's University in Scotland. They began dating in 2003 after living together as flatmates with a group of friends. In the early days of their courtship, William tried to impress Kate with his cooking, but Kate frequently had to rescue his meals from burning on the stove. Kate was initially nervous about meeting William's family, but she says that both Prince Charles and the Queen were very welcoming to her when they first met. Kate Middleton's use of Princess Diana's diamond cluster ring to symbolize her engagement to Prince William is certain to inspire wedding ring designers to create affordable wedding rings that imitate the style of that engagement ring as well as Kate and William's wedding bands. As a result, couples who are looking for affordable wedding rings will be able to commemorate their love in royal style. It is likely that as soon as Kate's top-secret wedding dress is revealed, designers will create more affordable copies of her style so that even couples who are planning a wedding on a budget can have a fairytale royal wedding at an affordable price. Are you planning to watch the royal wedding this Friday? Are you hoping to find ideas for your own nuptials?