Maid knew of royal engagement before Queen

Last Updated: Nov 21, 2010, 20:04 PM IST

London: A maid in Kenya was told about the engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton - before even the Queen was informed.

Margret Lekartgi, a 22-year-old maid, has known about William and Kate`s engagement for a month - while even the Queen, Prince Harry and Prime Minister David Cameron were not aware.

Lekartgi had taken care of the prince and his now fiance at the safari holiday during which the prince proposed.

"I was so pleased when I found out about the engagement but we were told not to tell anyone anything about it. They were such lovely people, so happy together," Daily Mail quoted Lekartgi as saying. She lives in the town of Isiolo, in northern Kenya.

William proposed to his girlfriend on the last day of their holiday in a wooden lodge on the slopes of Mount Kenya.

A month later, the Queen and the rest of the royal family were told the news and it was announced to the public last week.

Lekartgi said that the couple began their holiday in the beginning of October in an area of the jungle in the northern rainlands of Kenya known in Swahili as Ishak Bin.

During their stay, they had the guidance of Craig, a Kenyan-born farmer and reserve owner, whose daughter Jecca was once romantically linked to William.

William, Kate, Craig and his wife lived in tents deep in the bush. A group of armed people maintained kept a discreet distance from the camp.

The maid said: "They were having the time of their lives. They were just living in tents."

Initially wary of how she would be treated, Lekartgi was surprised at William`s friendliness and reluctance to ask her to do any chores.

"From the start he was always smiling and not bossy or Royal at all. Very neat too. The same with Kate.

"They spent their days with the Craigs game driving, seeing the lions, elephants and rhinos. But whenever they saw me around they would say hello, always smiling. They were just so very happy all the time," she said.

Lekartgi went on to say that just William and Kate went to Rutundu Lake, high on slopes of Mount Kenya.

It took a good five hours to reach there where they enjoyed fishing in the lake before going to a nearby wooden lodge.

The media report said that it is believed that the proposal came on the cabin`s verandah.

After returning from there, the couple broke the news of their engagement to the Craigs, and Ian Craig brought Margret and her small group of colleagues into the secret.

Lekartgi said: "William and Kate came back from Rutundu and told the Craigs about the engagement. I didn`t see the ring but after Ian had dropped William and Kate off at the airstrip he came back and decided they would be going over to the UK too to celebrate.

"We were told that there was an engagement party for William and Kate and they were going to leave Lewa to attend, but we were not to tell anyone what it was all about. They left shortly afterwards.

"So that is when we knew that they were engaged."

PTI