Royal watchers in Britain are predicting a Christmas engagement for Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton, a newspaper reported Monday.
The Daily Telegraph said a warning by Buckingham Palace that it could take legal action against paparazzi photographers was being seen as part of preparations ahead of an announcement by the couple.
A spokesman for bookmakers William Hill said it had cuts it odds for a Christmas engagement from 12/1 to 6/1 for Middleton and William, the elder son of Prince Charles, the heir apparent to the British throne.
Earlier, the Sunday Telegraph reported that Charles and his mother Queen Elizabeth II have instructed a media lawyer to oversee a crackdown on paparazzi.
Charles, William and his brother Harry are all prepared to take legal action over “intrusive and unacceptable behaviour” by photographers.
Monday’s report said the move has been interpreted as a bid to stop paparazzi harassing Middleton in the way they did with Diana, the late Princess of Wales.
Some senior members of the royal family still blame photographers for her death in a car crash in 1997 while being chased by paparazzi on motorcycles.
Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, told the paper: “I think William is behind this. I think he is setting some ground rules for his future with Kate.”
This is not the first time the British press has speculated on William and Kate - but previous predictions of engagement have proved to be wrong. The couple, 27, reportedly broke up and reconciled in 2007.
The pair is one of the most photographed celebrity couples in Britain, with the tabloid press following their every move.