The son of Britain’s former Princess Diana, Prince William, is reportedly dating a Russian model. The 35-year-old Duke of Cambridge is said to be dating Kira Mikhaeli Grigorenko, 26, who is also a member of the Russian royal family. According to The Sun, Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, was introduced to Kira by a family friend. The tabloid stated that the couple began dating soon after and are now thought to be engaged. According to The Sun, both sides are reportedly ‘thrilled’ about the future of their relationship.

Kate Middleton’s Reaction

Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, has yet to comment on the allegations, but her friends have spoken out about the romance.

“I’ve known Kate since she was 20 years old. She’s a beautiful, kind, and genuine girl,” a source close to Kate told The Independent. “I’m sure she’s going to be happy that her son is settling down and starting a family. She’s looked after William her whole life and has wanted the same for him. I don’t think she has ever wanted to be tied down to just one person or one relationship. I don’t know if that makes her ‘liberated’ or just normal, but I think she’s actually really happy.”

Kremlin Reaction

Meanwhile, members of the Russian royal family have spoken out about the scandal. In an interview with the British media, Kira’s uncle Prince Alexander Pavlovitch stated that he would like to see the relationship end. “I’d like to see him get married and have children,” he said. However, he admitted that the Russian crown could not stop the younger generation from finding happiness. “I know our dynasty is not a popular one in Britain, but if this is what they want they should have it,” he continued. “Russia is a big country and there are lots of different cultures. It would be nice to see people learn to get along.”

The Duchess of Cambridge will not be the first member of the royal family to wed a commoner. In 1936, King George VI married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, a member of the British aristocracy whose family had a long history of supporting the monarchy. The couple had four children, Elizabeth, Margaret, Andrew, and Charles. It was also reported at the time that the King had an affair with his secretary, the glamorous Dorothy Spencer. Spencer later became better known as Clemmie, Duchess of York. The affair began when Spencer was 26 and George VI was 56. In 1952, Princess Elizabeth wed the then-Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who had previously been married to Pamela Mountbatten, a member of the British aristocratic Mountbatten family and sister of Queen Elizabeth. The couple had two children, Elizabeth and Michael. The couple was also thought to be among the inspirations for Billie Holiday’s song, “Fine Day”, with the lyrics “As long as there’s music, I’ll be happy”. Finally, in 1960, the Queen Mother, the former Empress Elizabeth, wed Air Vice-Marshal Sir John Cunningham. The couple had one son, Alexander, before divorcing in 1931.

According to The Sun, the couple will wed in a traditional Russian Orthodox ceremony in which members of the British royal family are not allowed to take part as they are not deemed of equal rank. The tabloid reported that the wedding will be held at the Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg with a reception to follow in London. The couple are said to have been dating for more than a year and are both thought to be optimistic about the future of their relationship.