- The football pundit proposed to the former TOWIE star on a family trip to Abu Dhabi in front of his three children, Lorenz, 12, Tate, 10, and Tia, seven
- The ex-Manchester United star included the trio in his proposal plans and praised the trio for keeping it a secret
- Kate and Rio have been dating for almost two years, and the reality TV personality has developed a close bond with his children
- The sportsman lost his first wife, Rebecca Ellison, in 2015 when she died at the age of just 34 after a battle with breast cancer
- Kate has previously described Rebecca, the children's mother, as 'irreplaceable', and said she works hard to keep her memory alive
- The blonde also revealed Lorenz, Tate and Tia are keen for her to have a baby so they have another sibling to play with
- Kate said she saw the ex-footballer and his brood as a package and 'fell in love with them' as soon as she met the trio
Kate Wright and Rio Ferdinand have announced their engagement after almost two years of dating.
The former TOWIE star, 27, accepted a romantic rooftop proposal from the sports legend, 39, during a family holiday to Abu Dhabi after he popped the question in front of his three children.
Taking to her Instagram account to share the happy news with her followers on Thursday morning, the TV personality wrote: 'The perfect end to our holiday ... How could the answer not be yes.'
Surprise! Kate Wright and Rio Ferdinand are engaged after almost two years of dating, sharing the happy news with their fans on Thursday
Kate uploaded three pictures of the magical moment Rio popped the question as his kids Lorenz, 12, Tate, 10, and Tia, seven, looked on.
The stunning cityscape images appeared to have been taken on a rooftop helicopter pad following a night-time ride.
Rio's three children could be seen looking on as their dad proposed, before rushing over to hug them both when Kate accepted.
The former England star proudly revealed he had included his kids in his proposal plans, and praised them for keeping the secret for so long.
Posting a sweet snap of the trio watching the special moment, he wrote: 'She said yes. How these 3 kids kept it a secret I’ll never know.'
The reality star started dating Rio in early 2017, two years after he tragically lost his wife Rebecca Ellison, 34, following a short battle with cancer.
Rio has previously admitted the couple speak about marriage regularly, but insisted they were in no rush to tie the knot.
He said: 'We do talk about it, but I’m not going to sit here and give you a date.'
The football pundit also spoke about the positive impact Kate has had on his children since the tragic passing of their mother.
Rio explained: 'My relationship with Kate has helped in that they have got a female in the house now.'
The former TOWIE star has spoken out about her close relationship with the children, revealing they are keen for her to have a baby so they have another sibling to play with.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Mail's YOU magazine earlier this year, Kate said: 'The kids would like a little brother or sister; they say, "I dreamt that you were pregnant". But right now we're just happy with our little unit.'
Kate also explained that she saw the ex footballer and his brood as a package and 'fell in love with them' as soon as she met the trio.
She added: 'I fell in love with Rio, then I met the kids and fell in love with them. I realised, "Wow, my life is going to change". I couldn't be part of his life and not part of theirs.
'I knew it would be a challenge, but if you love someone you go with it and deal with the difficult stuff.'
In spite of her close relationship with Rio's children, Kate has said their late mother is 'irreplaceable' and she works hard to keep Rebecca's memory alive.
Speaking during an appearance on This Morning in May, she said: 'You only have one mum, their mum is irreplaceable.
'There's a special room in the house, for their [late] mum and their nan – they might do homework there for example.
'We always celebrate Rebecca's birthday, we all go to cemetery together. We do talk about their mum, I know a lot more about her than they think.'
The star quit The Only Way Is Essex in April 2017 in a bid to focus on her life with Rio and his children, but although people might not understand her decision, she says it was a no-brainer.
Kate explained: 'Everyone thinks I’m crazy, even my mum was like, "You're mad!" But I had two choices. I was in this world of drama and in the public eye.
'Then I met Rio, he had children who lost their mum, they didn't have a woman in their lives. Someone needs to be at home and give them love.'
The former reality star confessed the hardest thing has been learning how to discipline three young children and gain their respect and trust.
She said: 'At the beginning one person said to me, "You don’t know how to look after children, you don’t have any!’ It hurts your feelings when you're trying your best.
'When they break rules, "I'm like, right, you're not having your phone!" If their dad’s not at home, I get my phone out and pretend to record them and send it to dad.'
Rio has been candid about his experience of grief and the difficulty of becoming a single parent following the death of his wife Rebecca.
He opened up about his loss in a BBC documentary - Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad, in which he explored ways of managing grief.
The programme won the Single Documentary Award at the TV BAFTAs 2018.
He broke down in tears as he picked up the award last year, saying: 'I didn't do this for any other reason other than my three kids. The worst thing to come out of this is that I get quite emotional now.
'I'm not quite used to it. This documentary has given something to my three kids.
'This documentary has propelled me forward into a period of happiness where my kids are happy I've got a beautiful girlfriend. Thank you, BBC, thank you very much.'
Rebecca was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014 but had appeared to be clear of the cancer following treatment.
But a scan earlier in 2015 revealed it had returned and spread to her bones and she died just five weeks later on May 1.
Rio met Rebecca, a former fitness trainer and accountant, while he was at West Ham United in the late 1990s. The pair married in the Caribbean in 2009.
He earned the respect of the nation with his frank admissions about life as a widower in the documentary.
'This is one of the only things in life that we're going to go through together, where I haven't got the answers for them, and that's quite a worrying, daunting thing', he said.
'When they don't speak, it's difficult sometimes, you're just sitting there going like "what are they thinking? Where are they? Are they worried, are they happy, are they sad?"'
Rio added that while he is 'desperate to know' what his children are thinking, 'I don't want to scare them.'
Fans were delighted with the news of Rio's engagement to Kate, taking to Twitter in their hundreds to congratulate the former footballer.
'My heart is melting knowing @xkatiewright and @rioferdy5 are engaged HOW CUTE ARE THEY', one person wrote.
Another enthused: 'I'm actually so happy for @rioferdy5 and Katie Wright I could cry', another fan shared, adding dozens of heart emojis.