Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran has announced on social media that he is engaged to his girlfriend Cherry Seaborn.

He told his Instagram followers: "Got myself a fiancé [sic] just before new year. We are very happy and in love, and our cats are chuffed as well xx."

Sheeran has been with accomplished British hockey player Seaborn since 2015, but they met when they were in secondary school in Suffolk.

He wrote the song Perfect, in which he poured his love for her into the lyrics as well as the accompanying video. It follows the narrative of Sheeran falling in love with a girl he grew up with.

No wedding date has been announced

Last year Sheeran credited Seaborn with nursing him back to health after he was involved in a bicycle accident.

He told the Capital London Breakfast Show that she "had to brush my teeth", and later added she is a "good woman".

During an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine last year he also sang Seaborn's praises, saying: "It's awesome meeting famous people. But that's not life. That's not reality. One day this will end.

"And I know the one person that's going to remain constant is Cherry. I should just enjoy this while it's there but not let it become my reality. Because that's not the reality I want to live in."

Last May, there were rumours in the tabloids that the singer was planning on taking a long break from music - or even possibly quitting altogether - after he finishes his current tour to promote his new album ÷ [Divide].

According to the speculation, which was first published in The Daily Star, Sheeran is hoping to put the brakes on his career for a while in order to lead "a more normal life" and settle down. 

His cats, who are "delighted".