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Prince William's girlfriend at Balmoral

  |   Oct. 14, 2007 at 11:08 AM
ROYAL DEESIDE, Scotland, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- British royal watchers say Kate Middleton turned a corner in her romance with Prince William by being invited to hunt at Balmoral during the weekend.

The 50,000-acre estate in Scotland is where Prince Philip proposed to Queen Elizabeth and Edward VIII spent time with Wallis Simpson, Britain's Telegraph reported Sunday.

Middleton, dressed in camouflage and hunting boots, accompanied William's father, Prince Charles, on a hunting trip Saturday during a family weekend at Balmoral.

The intimate family gathering fueled speculation of a possible engagement, though sources close to the couple say any announcement would not happen before next year. Bookmakers are so convinced the two 25-year-olds will marry they have stopped taking bets on whether it will happen, the Telegraph reported.

Balmoral became a royal home in 1852, ten years after Queen Victoria became enthralled by her “dear beautiful Highlands."

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