Diamonds are a posh girl's best friend

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As announcements go there was nothing particularly unusual or even unexpected about this one - a young couple have fallen in love and are to marry next summer.

But news of the forthcoming nuptials of the Spice Girl Victoria Adams and her footballer boyfriend David Beckham had to be made in the full glare of the media spotlight lest anyone should fail to notice. And at a press conference yesterday morning, the couple, staggering under the weight of the jewellery they have exchanged, duly held hands and simpered for the cameras.

Beckham, 22, formally proposed to Ms Adams, known as Posh Spice, on Saturday night at a five-star Georgian mansion hotel after she had flown in from Los Angeles. The pounds 18,000-a-week Manchester United midfielder had asked the jewellers Boodle and Dunthorne to design a solitaire diamond ring in a gold setting. In turn, Ms Adams, 23, who is worth an estimated pounds 5m, presented him with a six-carat diamond encrusted gold band from Van Cleef and Arpels of Rodeo Drive, Hollywood.

At yesterday's press conference Ms Adams was wearing the last love token given to her by her future husband - a pounds 13,000 diamond-encrusted crucifix. She had given Beckham an pounds 11,000 gold and diamond bracelet.

As they left the hotel in Nantwich, Cheshire, yesterday, Ms Adams hugged her fiance and said: "It's just what I wanted and it was big surprise." Beckham said merely that he was very happy.