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Prince, Kate Middleton Engagement Looming?

Britain's Buckingham Palace has cleared the the third and fourth of June for the long-awaited announcement of the wedding of Prince William and his girlfriend of seven years, Kate Middleton, probably in November, according to a report in The Daily

Katie Nicholl, of Britain's Mail on Sunday, said on "The Early Show" Wednesday her sources tell her it's a bit premature for a wedding, but that "it's as likely a year as any."

Photos: Kate Middleton
Photos: Prince William

Nicholl observed that The Daily Beast has been accurate on such matters in the past.

"I suppose there's no real reason why it shouldn't be accurate -- again, I don't think we should dismiss it, but my feeling is, and that of my sources and of the Palace itself, is that this may be a little premature."

"Early Show" co-anchor Maggie Smith said Prince William has always said he wants to finish his military career before he gets married.

"He hasn't done that yet," Nicholl said. "...His military career, his training as a search-and-rescue pilot with the RAF (Royal Air Force), doesn't come to a close until the end of the summer, so I would be surprised to have an engagement any time before August because it will absolutely overshadow everything he's doing. This is a very important cause. William's sole mission, he's told his friends, is to be a search-and-rescue pilot. It's something that he will do for at least three years after, and assuming that he does graduates and passes as search-and-rescue pilot. I think that's where his commitment lies at the moment."

Nicholl was referring to William's career transition. In January 2011, William will likely leave the RAF helicopter school at Shawbury and become an operational pilot ready for a three-year search-and-rescue tour of duty.

But even if they don't get married soon, the still look happy, Rodriguez remarked. On a recent ski trip, she said they were photographed looking very close.

Nicholl agreed, saying, "These were the most tactile, open and least self-conscious pictures we've seen of the two of them in a long time, and also the first pictures we've seen of William and Kate in many months. You may have noticed, we certainly have in the UK that they're keeping a very, very low profile. They're not out. They're not partying. They're not doing the things we usually see them doing."

Nicholl added the pictures were significant, showing a "very happy boyfriend and girlfriend."

Rodriguez said she's hoping for a big royal wedding, like that of Princess Diana and Prince Charles. But is that likely?

"If William and Kate get their way, when and if they do marry, I don't think it will be as huge and event as Charles and Diana. We all can remember back to '81 to those incredible images of the princess stepping out of her carriage, the dress that went on with a train for meters and meters. I understand that William and Kate -- if they do get married -- want a smaller, less public ceremony. But of course, it will be a state occasion of sorts -- exactly how big, we'll have to wait and see."