Pippa stakes her claim to future Duke
Pippa Middleton and George Percy have been close friends since Edinburgh University. (Getty Images)
Following the love life of Pippa Middleton is one of the great pastimes in the UK media, and the heat has been turned up once again. This time, the bull's-eye is once again on an old friend -- George Percy.
He fits all the requirements: rich, dukedom heir, single and rich. And oh yes ... rich.
The Duchess of Cambridge's sister, having split from banker boyfriend Alex Loudon, has reportedly trained her love sights on Percy, who was a classmate at Edinburgh University and comes from one of the wealthiest families in England.
"George is very smitten and completely in love with her," a source told the Sun tabloid in London. "It looks like the Middleton sisters will be completing the double before too long."
It was George who was one of the first to comfort Pippa after Loudon split and a turning point may have been a New Year's dinner hosted by the Middleton family.
"Pippa sat herself next to George at supper and made sure she was hanging off his arm all night," the source said. "And then she made her move. It was like a shark circling its bait. Some people think she has always set out to do this."
A marriage between these two would bring Pippa even tighter to the royal circle, since Percy, 27, is heir to the Duke of Northumberland. The family's holdings include about 100,000 acres and Alnwick Castle (below), which served as the setting for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies.
The family is reportedly worth about $500 million and Percy himselft collects close to $400,000 a year from his trust fund. He also owns and operates an eco-energy business.
"If Pippa ends up marrying Earl Percy, then it isn't a bad return on Carole Middleton's investment when she sent her two daughters to posh public schools."