Britain's Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton are to be married on April 29th at London's Westminster Abbey, in a ceremony that will be watched live on television by millions around the world. The elder son of heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana proposed to Middleton with the large blue oval sapphire and diamond engagement ring his mother once wore as Charles's 19-year-old fiancee. "It's very special to me," William told reporters when announcing the engagement in November last year. "It was my way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today, and the excitement and the fact that we're going to spend the rest of our lives together," he said. The two will marry 30 years after Charles and Diana's spectacular but ultimately ill-fated wedding. It was Britain's most lavish ceremony of recent times and became the focus of enormous interest around the world. Some 600,000 people crammed the streets of London to watch the wedding procession to St Paul's Cathedral. William was born on June 21, 1982 at St. Mary's Hospital, Paddington in west London. After attending Mrs Mynors School, he became a pupil at Wetherby School in London, until 1990 and then Ludgrove School in Berkshire, until 1995. He then attended Eton College. Prince William was 15 when his mother, said to be the world's most photographed woman during her lifetime, was killed in a car crash in Paris at the age of 36. Divorced from Charles in 1996, she had been in Paris with 42-year old Dodi al-Fayed, the son of Mohamed al-Fayed the then owner of Harrods department store. Diana, Fayed and their chauffeur Henri Paul were killed when their Mercedes limousine smashed at high speed into a pillar in a Paris road tunnel as they sped away from the Ritz Hotel, pursued by paparazzi on motorbikes. Diana's death saw an outpouring of grief across the globe, with poignant television pictures of William and his younger brother Prince Harry walking behind their mother's cortege and her funeral procession in London. William joined the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst as an Officer Cadet and was commissioned as an army officer in front of the Queen at Sandhurst in December 2006. He joined the Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals) as a Second Lieutenant. He also graduated as a search and rescue Pilot with the Royal Air Force in September 2010. William met Middleton when they shared a house at university in Scotland in 2001. They split up in 2007 because, newspapers said, Middleton, who had been dubbed "waity Katie" by the tabloids, was getting fed up with waiting for William to propose, but they got back together soon afterwards. On February 24 the two performed their first official engagement as a couple, giving them an early taste of the life in the spotlight that awaits them. International media and hundreds of local well-wishers descended on Trearddur Bay, on the Welsh island of Anglesey, to greet the couple as they attended the launch of a new lifeboat. Twenty-nine year old Middleton poured champagne over the bow of the "Hereford Endeavour", Trearddur Bay lifeboat station's new inshore lifeboat for the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution). They then went on a walkabout, looking relaxed as they greeted well-wishers who turned up to catch a glimpse of the young celebrities, and spoke to members of the lifeboat crew. Although a relatively minor ceremony, for Middleton it offered a brief glimpse of the kind of official duties she will have to perform first as princess, and eventually as queen. The event is close to where 28-year old William has been working as a search and rescue pilot for the Royal Air Force, and is seen as the couple's way of thanking the community for respecting their privacy while they lived there together in recent months. William and Middleton then returned to the university where they fell in love with an official visit to St Andrews on the east coast of Scotland. The trip was to mark the 600th anniversary of the university, the place where the couple got to know each other in 2001 as undergraduates studying art history. They went on to share a house on the outskirts of town and their romance blossomed. After the formalities of the visit, they greeted hundreds of well-wishers who had lined the streets to see them. Other recent royal duties have included a trip to Belfast on Shrove Tuesday, when the royal couple met with Belfast Lord Mayor Pat Convery, then entertained well-wishers by flipping pancakes. In March, Prince William travelled to New Zealand and Australia to see first-hand the impact of recent natural disasters; an earthquake in Christchurch and flooding in Queensland. And in early April William showed his grandmother the around the RAF base in Anglesey. It is the first time the Queen has seen him in his working environment. On April 11 William and Kate took part in their final official engagement together before the wedding -- officially opening a community college in Darwen, England, and attending a local sporting event. Though Middleton and William met in 2001, legend has it that they were just friends until Middleton modelled a transparent, knitted mesh dress at a charity show at the university in 2002. The Prince was in the audience and it is said that seeing Kate wearing the dress made him think about Kate in a more romantic way. It's been described as the dress which helped to capture Prince William's heart Middleton is the eldest child of Michael and Carole Middleton, who became millionaires running Party Pieces, a mail order firm supplying party accessories. "We all think he is wonderful and we are extremely fond of him," Michael Middleton said of William after the couple announced their engagement. "They make a lovely couple, they are great fun to be with, and we've had a lot of laughs together." There have been many royal weddings at Westminster Abbey. Prince Albert, Duke of York (later King George VI) married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother) in Westminster Abbey in April 1923. The Abbey was also the scene of the marriage of Princess Elizabeth (later Queen Elizabeth 11) and Prince Philip on November 20 in 1947. It was also the venue for the wedding of William's aunt, Princess Anne when she married Captain Mark Phillips in 1973, and for his uncle Prince Andrew's (The Duke of York) wedding to Sarah Ferguson in 1986. Andrew's marriage fell apart in 1992 after the publication of raunchy photographs showing the still-married duchess in the arms of another man, Texan John Bryan. The marriage produced two daughters, Beatrice in 1988 and Eugenie in 1990. Prince Charles's second marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005 was dedicated in St. George's Chapel following a civil ceremony in Windsor's Guildhall on April 9th.