Seven years, six kids, Brad and Angelina agree to wed

LOS ANGELES, (Reuters) – Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, one of the world’s best known couples, are engaged to marry, ending a fevered, seven-year celebrity media dance over whether they will ever say “I do.”

A spokeswoman for Pitt today confirmed the pair had agreed to wed after Jolie was photographed in Los Angeles wearing a large diamond ring, designed by Pitt, on her engagement finger.

“Yes, it’s confirmed. It is a promise for the future and their kids are very happy. There’s no date set at this time,” said Pitt’s spokeswoman Cynthia Pett-Dante.

Pitt, 48 and Jolie, 36 – dubbed Brangelina by celebrity media – are raising six children together, including three adopted kids, all under the age of 11.

Rumors of an impending marriage have made the front pages of celebrity magazines for years, and sent the world’s media scurrying to venues as far afield as Italy, India, southern Africa and France to stake out imminent “secret” ceremonies.

The “Moneyball” star said earlier this year that pressure from their kids finally was forcing them to consider tying the knot after previously dismissing marriage as unnecessary or saying they were waiting until gays and lesbians could legally wed.

“It (marriage) seems to mean more and more to our kids. We made this declaration some time ago that we weren’t going to do it ’til everyone can. But I don’t think we’ll be able to hold out,” Pitt told The Hollywood Reporter in a January interview.

Jewelry maker Robert Procop said on Friday he had fashioned Jolie’s engagement ring in collaboration with Pitt and had been working on it for a year.

“The full creative journey – from conception to completion – took a year, with Brad Pitt waiting until the perfect moment to unveil this special jewel to Angelina Jolie,” Procop’s spokeswoman said.

HOLLYWOOD POWER COUPLE

Procop said the ring featured a elongated tablet-shaped diamond that was cut to suit Jolie’s long, slender fingers, and is mounted with a galaxy of smaller stones.

The ring made its official debut on Wednesday night, when Jolie wore it to a small, private viewing of Chinese art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with Pitt and son Pax.

Pitt divorced his popular “Friends” actress wife Jennifer Aniston in 2005 to be with Jolie, after the pair became close on the set of action spy movie “Mr. & Mrs. Smith.”

Jolie, who won a best supporting actress Oscar for her work on “Girl, Interrupted” in 1999, had two previous short-lived marriages to actors Billy Bob Thornton and Jonny Lee Miller.

Jolie and Pitt quickly became Hollywood’s biggest power couple, traveling around the world as Jolie took on high-profile humanitarian roles and adopting children from Ethiopia and Vietnam to add to their brood.

Marriage speculation again reached fever pitch after Jolie gave birth to their first biological child – daughter Shiloh in Namibia in 2006 – and twins Knox and Vivienne in France two years later.

Pitt insisted they would not wed until gay marriage was legalized in the United States. Same-sex marriage is now legal in New York and seven other U.S. states. In January, the actor made clear pressure was mounting, and it wasn’t just the children who wanted a wedding.

“It means so much to my kids, and they ask a lot. And it means something to me, too, to make that kind of commitment … But to be in love with someone and be raising a family with someone and want to make that commitment and not be able to it is ludicrous, just ludicrous,” he said.

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