Speculation is growing that Prince William might be gearing up to get married to his long standing girlfriend, Kate Middleton.

Reports state that Kate has been formally invited to spend Christmas with the royal family at Sandringham, fuelling engagement rumours.

William and Kate first sparked engagement rumours after taking a holiday to the Caribbean. The pair met five years ago whilst studying at St Andrews University in Scotland and have been dating ever since.

If the pair were to wed, it would mark the first time in history that a future king has married someone who is not a born aristocrat.

That doesnt seem to bother the royal family who have in the past invited Kate on trips and days out, even when William wasnt around.

"Everybody seems to like her," comments People Magazine senior editor J.D. Heyman. "The Queen seems to like her. Prince Charles seems to like her.

"This is certainly somebody who seems to have the royal stamp of approval."

Kate is already making a name for herself as something of a style icon, recently photographed carrying an exclusive Meli' Melo' handbag. Keira Knightley, Jemima Khan and Margherita Missoni all have bags from the same range, according to Vogue.

01/12/2006 06:59:50