Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Royal proposal made in remote Rutundu

By David McKenzie, CNN
Click to play
Site of Prince William's proposal
  • UK's Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton at Rutundu in Kenya
  • They stayed in a basic log cabin after arriving by helicopter
  • Kenya holds a special place for the British Royal Family
  • Both write comments in the Lewa Downs guestbook

Rutundu, Kenya (CNN) -- Everyone who follows British royalty knows by now that Prince William and Kate Middleton were engaged in Kenya.

But most people don't know the exact spot -- until now.

According to several informed sources, the potential future King and Queen of England got engaged on the 20th of October at Rutundu, a remote spot 10,200 feet (3,100 meters) above sea-level on the slopes of Mount Kenya, Africa's second highest peak.

"They came to relax and to fish," one of Rutundu's guides told me.

The couple drove up from Lewa Downs, the wildlife reserve where they have holidayed in the past and where Prince William spent part of his gap year before attending the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland.

"I think Kenya has always been very close to Prince William's heart. He's been coming here for many years. He loves it. I think he wanted to share Kenya with his new bride, unknown to us at the time," Ian Craig, founder of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.

Prince William revealed in their official engagement interview that he took the sapphire and diamond ring of Princess Diana for the duration of their Kenyan holiday.

"I had been carrying it around in my rucksack for three weeks before that, and I literally would not let it go. Wherever I went I kept hold of it because I knew this thing, if it disappeared, I would be in a lot of trouble," he said.

Kenya holds a special place for the British Royal family. In 1952, then Princess Elizabeth was staying at Treetops lodge in the Aberdares when she found out her father had died and she was to become Queen.

The modern Kenyan connection now will surely be at Rutundu. Prince William stayed in the more spacious of the two log-cabins. It certainly doesn't have the mod cons of Buckingham Palace, but it is cozy and remote.

"He's a true romantic and we had a wonderful holiday in Africa and it was there in a very quiet lodge and it was very romantic and it was a very personal time for both of us," Middleton said.

The couple left their mark on the occasion -- in the visitors book. "Brought more warm clothes this time!" writes Prince William. "I love the warm fires and candle lights," writes "Catherine Middleton."

If you want to read the rest, you'll just have to come here.

Some might see the blustery and remote Rutundu as an odd choice for an engagement. But Prince William has said Africa affords him anonymity.

And for a couple who will spend the rest of their lives in the limelight, then it might just be the perfect spot.

Part of complete coverage on
'Not the royal wedding' street party
A lot has changed since the 15th century, when Oliver Cromwell overthrew the monarchy. Today, British republicans fight with ... street parties.
The best moments of the royal wedding
From the walk down the aisle to the vows and kiss on the balcony, we show you the best moments from the royal wedding.
The big day in big pictures
From camping out in Hyde Park to highlights of the wedding ceremony, take a look at the day in photos
Hats off to royal wedding guests
The biggest fashion show on earth, the royal wedding, got underway in a riot of bright colors, flamboyant fascinators and larger-than-life hats
Wedding dress mystery solved
At last, it's revealed! Kate walks down the aisle in a timeless dress designed by Sarah Burton of Alexander McQueen.
Unveiled blog
Crazy memorabilia, the skinny on the dress and more! Your spot for all things royal wedding right now.
Across the pond, a reason to party
Americans woke up at dawn to attend royal wedding parties complete with tea, scones and in some cases, clipped British accents
Join CNN's wedding party!
Share your photos and video and be a part of the royal wedding with CNN and iReport!