Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart’s new relationship is causing quite a stir. After a brief courtship that lasted just a couple of months, the Twilight Saga stars have announced they are engaged. This comes after a year of public speculation surrounding their blossoming romance. After months of keeping their relationship under wraps, the couple has now taken the plunge and unveiled the happy news to fans and the press. The news also serves as a significant moment for Stewart’s career; a win she has long sought after since exiting the Twilight franchise in 2012.

The couple’s engagement was announced on Thursday night at the Los Angeles premiere of Pattinson’s latest film, High Life, alongside co-star Stewart. Their spokesperson confirmed the happy news to journalists on Friday morning.

Pattinson and Stewart have been together since 2011, but avoided the media spotlight until now. Since breaking up with Twilight co-star Peter Facinelli in 2013, the actor has kept a lower profile. While he has remained in the public eye, it has been in the supporting role of his co-stars’ significant others. The most notable of these was John Cusack, who played Stewart’s on-screen love interest Steve Roberts in the biopic Midnight in Paris. They have also attended several premieres together, including the A-list event for Pattinson’s highly-anticipated film about the legendary musician, Sid and Nancy.

Sitting down with Time Out, Cusack reveals that the couple have been dating for over a year and confirm the speculation surrounding their relationship. “They’ve been together for a while and really love each other,” he says. “They’ve been very private up until this point but are very happy and in love. It’s hard to believe that it’s been a year since they started dating.”

The Couple’s On-Camera Chemistry

While in the past the on-camera chemistry between Steward and Facinelli was overshadowed by their on-screen counterparts’ budding romance, Pattinson and Stewart’s real-life romance has proven to be just as captivating. Even fans of the Twilight franchise may be surprised by how much they have managed to keep secret for so long; the twosome have carefully curated an online presence that has allowed for a more personal connection with their fans.

They began dating in 2011 and took their first romantic vacation to Venice that same year. Since then, they have collaborated on a number of projects, including the comedy Bad Romance and the thriller High Life. The latter stars Pattinson as a high-end art gallery owner who falls for a seductive, wealthy socialite (Stewart) who poses as a potential buyer. In the film, the two lead players’ characters fall in love in a matter of days and decide to run away together. The film was released in October and earned Pattinson and Stewart rave reviews. Critics particularly lauded their chemistry on-screen and many took the opportunity to compare their famous on-screen romance to their newfound real-life romance.

“Pattinson and Stewart have an undeniable connection on-screen, which translated off-screen is even more powerful,” writes Lisa Schwarzbaum for Entertainment Weekly. “The two make a believable, appealing duo and there’s a comfort level that viewers can immediately feel.”

A New Romantic Paradigm

The actor confirmed the romance when he tweeted a picture of the couple together with the caption, “Wedding March by [Title]: Romantic Novelist And Author Katherine Mansfield.” The iconic quote, “No woman is worth crying over,” is from one of Mansfield’s most famous works, The House of The Sun, which was first published in 1899.

The author’s final words are often cited as a romantic motto and are said to embody the ideals of a romantic Renaissance man. While the quote has long been attributed to Mansfield, it was actually written 40 years earlier by an American couple who went on to become famous writers, John and Cynthia Chapman. The Chandlers, as they were better known, published The House of The Sun in Mansfield’s honor. The novel, an exploration of the complexities and perfection of romance, was dedicated to the woman they loved and married in 1911, Katherine Mansfield. In the book, they write, “No woman is worth crying over. She is worth celebrating… [because she] is a little queen, with a great deal of passion, who has the power to make a man feel small and mean.”

Whether or not Mansfield would have approved of her famous words being used in this way is questionable, but what is clear is that she understood the power of romance and the role it could play in a couple’s life. In her own words, “A woman is a romantic invention: the fantasy of gold, jewels, a castle, and a man to take advantage of it all.”

Romantic Confections

Stewart, who plays the dual role of a socialite and an heiress in High Life, has also shown a talent for romantic comedy. After breaking up with Facinelli, she decided to dip her toe into the comedy genre and wrote and directed the film, Grand Tour, in 2015. The film, which also stars Kate Winslet, is an unfunny take on a celebrity tour. Winslet plays a famous artist who joins a group of famous fashion designers on a cross-country trek in a bid to discover France. The film marks Stewart’s directorial debut and received a mixed reception from critics. While praising Winslet’s performance, Tim Walker of The Guardian wrote, “The best thing about this film is the view of Paris. Its look is so beautiful it almost hurts to look at it.”

Two years later, Stewart’s team is at it again. This time around, she has taken on the role of romantic lead in the comedy, Good Time. The film, which also stars Zac Efron, centers on a series of misunderstandings that occur when a group of friends spend a night at a luxury hotel. Set in the Hamptons, where Efron plays a struggling actor who gets his big break, Stewart’s character, Carly, is the hotel owner’s wife. The couple’s longtime friend and collaborator, Evan Rachel Wood, plays Carly’s best friend, April. While the film is an improvement on their previous efforts, critics say it is a bit predictable and perhaps a tad saccharine.

In 2019, Stewart will star in the comedy series, Hotel Artemis, which is set in an elite wilderness retreat where guests are expected to arrive by private airship. The series, based on the best-selling novels by James Dashard, is loosely based on the creation and adventures of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. According to reports, the pilot was filmed in October 2018 and will star Bruce Willis and Jeffrey Tambor as King and his assistant, Clarence Jordan. The show is a co-production between Legendary and Sky, with the network airing the first season in 2019.

Over the years, the 31-year-old actress has established herself as a leading lady capable of holding her own against the big boys. Her performances in films like Twilight Saga and The House of The Sun have established her as a bankable star, while her deft handling of social media has allowed her to connect with fans in a way that most Hollywood actors cannot. For a romance to thrive in the public eye, the couple will need to ensure that their celebrity does not get in the way of their personal life. This will likely mean greater transparency and frequent media appearances for the pair. It will be interesting to see how they navigate these new waters and what impact their engagement will have on their on- and offline lives. For now, the world awaits to see how the magic of cinema will evolve with the inclusion of a new family member.