Here's how James Middleton and his new fiancé met -- and the story is too sweet

James Middleton, the younger brother of Duchess Kate and Pippa Middleton Matthews, announced his engagement to French financial analyst Alizee Thevenet earlier this fall. The 32-year-old proposed with a blue sapphire ring that looks quite similar to the Duchess of Cambridge's! 

The couple's love story, however, is even more romantic than the proposal shots captured in northwest England's picturesque Lake District. 

According to reports, the couple met in the summer of 2018 at South Kensington Club, when Thevenet stopped to say hello to Middleton's cocker spaniel, Ella. Middleton then reached out to Thevenet, now 30, with a note passed along by a waiter. Thevenet allegedly didn't know about Middleton's familial ties until after their first date. "One of her friends had to tell her," said a source.

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Kate Middleton's younger brother on Instagram
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Kate Middleton's younger brother on Instagram
Double Denim & Dogs
caption this 🐾 #goldenretriever #summervibes #dogsofinstagram #happydog
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‘The doctor said “James are you okay?” And I said “NO, I’m not”’ the words acted like a like a valve: ‘Even saying that was an easing of the pressure. I was saying I wasn’t okay, when each day I’d wake up pretending I was.’ The dogs and I spent some time with @tatlermagazine talking about dogs, business but most importantly mental health... August issue available Thursday 27th June #Itsgoodtotalk #itsoktonotbeok #mentalhealth #dogsofinstagram #tatler #petsastherapy
Whatever floats your boat 🚣‍♂️ 🐾 ❤️ . . . #dogsofinstagram #cockerspaniel #goldenretriever #summerheatwave #calmwater
Storms a coming
Hello Wednesday 🐾💦☀️
Highland swim 🏊
Mabel's getting all grown up 🐾
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Hello Hong Kong ✌️
Ella Air LHR-INV
No I didn't say I would shave the beard when we finished! 6 days10 hrs, 3000 miles thank you for all sponsorship nearly at £40k for Michael Matthews Foundation #raam2014
Tigger
It's Friday!!!
Sunday Run day
Bromance
13hrs of pain but we made it! ÖtilÖ SwimRun World Championships! Thank you for all the support for Michael Matthews Foundation
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I might be a day late....but to me...every day is International Dog Day ❤️🐾 . We spent the day playing on the water 🚣‍♀️ 🐾 . #dogsofinstagram #barked #dogsonboats #qualifiedcaptain #internationaldogday #mansbestfriend #mybestfriends #retro
The DOG watch 🐾 ⛵️
A rare sighting of the Golden Otter 🐾 #goldenretriever #goldenotter #dogsofinstagram #wildswimming
❤️She said OUI ❤️ . Our secret is out but we couldn’t be happier to share the news 🥂🍾 #jalizee 🇬🇧🇫🇷
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Ella is a star in her own right and is regularly featured alongside Middleton's four other dogs on his Instagram page. Most recently, the trained therapy pup took the red carpet alongside Middleton at the annual GQ Men of the Year Awards wearing a tartan and a "Pets as Therapy" vest in support of the UK charity.

Middleton, who has said before how being a dog lover is a prerequisite for the people he dates, has opened up about his struggles with mental health in the past and how his five dogs, Ella, Zulu, Inka, Luna and Mabel, have helped him cope with depression

“Fundamentally inside me I know how much the dogs helped me. I find it easier talking to the dogs than I sometimes do to humans,” he said to The Standard earlier this month, later adding that Ella had accompanied him to all his therapy sessions. 

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James Middleton brings his dog to GQ Awards
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James Middleton brings his dog to GQ Awards
James Middleton arrives on the red carpet of GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2019 at Tate Modern London (Photo credit should read Jamy / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/09/03: James Middleton attends the GQ Men of the Year Awards held at the Tate Modern, Bankside in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: James Middleton attends the the GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2019 in association with HUGO BOSS at the Tate Modern on September 3, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for HUGO BOSS)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019/09/03: James Middleton attends the GQ Men of the Year Awards held at the Tate Modern, Bankside in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
James Middleton arrives on the red carpet of GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2019 at Tate Modern London (Photo credit should read Jamy / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: (L to R) Sebastian Stan, BOSS Chief Brand Officer Ingo Wilts, HUGO BOSS UK Managing Director Stephan Born and James Middleton attend the the GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2019 in association with HUGO BOSS at the Tate Modern on September 3, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for HUGO BOSS)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: James Middleton attends GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2019 in association with HUGO BOSS at Tate Modern on September 03, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Hugo Boss)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: James Middleton attends GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2019 in association with HUGO BOSS at Tate Modern on September 03, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for Hugo Boss)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: James Middleton attends the the GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2019 in association with HUGO BOSS at the Tate Modern on September 3, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for HUGO BOSS)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: James Middleton attends the GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2019 at Tate Modern on September 03, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 03: James Middleton attends the the GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2019 in association with HUGO BOSS at the Tate Modern on September 3, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for HUGO BOSS)
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