THE Duke of Westminster's daughter is to marry Prince William's friend and mentor Edward van Cutsem.
The announcement of the engagement of Lady Tamara Katherine Grosvenor to Edward Bernard Charles van Cutsem was made last week.
Mr van Cutsem, 29, works in finance in the City and is a childhood friend of the royal princes. His father Hugh van Cutsem and mother Emilie, of Hilborough, Norfolk are good friends with the Prince of Wales.
A short statement read: 'Both families are very happy and excited. No date has yet been set for the wedding but further details will be announced in due course.'
Speculation is rife that the Society wedding of the year will take place at the Grosvenor family seat at Eaton Hall in November but Grosvenor spokeswoman Jane Sandars would not confirm or deny the rumours.
Little is known about the rarely photographed Lady Tamara, 24, but during a Chronicle interview with the Duke and Duchess of Westminster in December 2001 it became clear she was close to her younger sister Lady Edwina.
At the time Lady Tamara was studying theology at Newcastle University and Lady Edwina was reading criminology and sociology at Northumbria University.
Their mother the Duchess of Westminster said of her eldest girls: 'They see a lot of each other. They are having a really good time. They have so many friends around Chester that they often come back at weekends.'
Her husband the Duke said: 'It is exceedingly nice to say one is proud of one's children and mean it.'
The Duchess added: 'We are hugely confident in them. They are very level-headed, sensible and fun-loving but very wise.'
Lady Tamara is known to enjoy hunting.
A couple of years ago she was pictured out hunting with hounds in the Cheshire countryside following in the footsteps of her aunt, Lady Jane.
Her fiancé, Edward, is Prince Charles's godson and at the age of eight was a page at his wedding. The royal couple spent their wedding night at the van Cutsems' Norfolk estate and when the prince's affairs with Camilla Parker Bowles later became public knowledge, it emerged that they had trysts in a house rented on the Sandringham estate by the van Cutsems.
Edward, who stands a lofty 6ft 4in, works as an investment banker for Merrill Lynch in London but is expected to eventually take over at the family seat of Hilborough, where his father is a self-employed farmer and bloodstock breeder.
He was rumoured to be a prospective travelling companion for Prince William on his gap year to South America.
The Will and Harry Unlimited website says: 'Although van Cutsem is almost a decade older they are close companions, Edward even being described as an honorary elder brother. That impression is reinforced by a photograph taken during a winter trip to Balmoral five years ago, in which van Cutsem is dangling Prince Harry upside down over an icy stream in revenge for being caught in a snowball ambush by the young princes.'
He studied at Durham University and was said to have advised Prince William to go to St Andrew's because of its relative isolation. One of four brothers, Edward was featured tumbling in the snow with the royal princes in Jonathan Dimbleby's documentary about Prince Charles's life. Described by gossip columnists as a 'babe magnet' he is the former beau of the wealthy debutante-turned-model Camilla Astor. He also modelled with his brother Hugh at a fundraiser for the Game Conservancy Trust.