The heir to the Spanish throne has got engaged.

The Spanish palace has announced that Prince Felipe, 35, is to marry Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano, 31, a television presenter.

The wedding will take place early next summer at the Almudena Cathedral in Madrid.

The prince, the only son of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, will formally seek his parents' consent on Thursday.

The love life of the prince, who once courted a Norwegian ex-lingerie model, has been the subject of keen speculation in Spain for several years.

Tall and considered dashing, the prince was described by the German press on a visit earlier this year as 'Europe's most attractive bachelor'.

His two elder sisters, Princesses Elena and Cristina, are already married, both to non-royalty.

Prince Felipe has been heir since his father was crowned king in 1975 during the transition from the Franco dictatorship to the modern Spanish democracy.