By People Staff
January 18, 1999 12:00 PM

An ebullient Prince Edward and his girlfriend of five years, Sophie Rhys-Jones, announced on Jan. 6 plans to wed later this year. Edward, 34, gave his bride-to-be a 2.05-carat brilliant-cut diamond flanked by two heart-shaped stones by royal jewelers Asprey & Garrard. Asked by a family friend how Sophie, 33, responded when he popped the question over the Christmas holidays, the prince quipped, “I must have caught her on a good day.”

Prince William, 16, bundled up to join his grandmother for the royal family’s traditional Christmas Day church service in Norfolk, England. He ducked the annual ski trip with his dad and brother, however, preferring, a note from the Palace said, to “do his own thing.”

His royal highness: Prince Harry, 14, caught air in Klosters while demonstrating his skill with ultrashort skis called Snowblades. Prince Charles (above) and the lad were in Switzerland for their annual aprés- Christmas vacation.

There’s basic black, and there’s Cher-wear. The behatted singer-actress-trendsetter, whose new album is titled Believe, arrived at Heathrow Airport in London, where she was to open the annual January sale at Harrods. Last year, Cher canceled her appearance at the store after the death of her ex-husband Sonny Bono.

Get Piggy Wit It: In Queens, N.Y., comedian Nathan Lane joined the Oinker Sisters, those undeniable hams, for a rendition of “Sing” while taping an episode of Sesame Street. Lane costars in the romantic drama At First Sight, due Jan. 15.

Party of Five’s Jennifer Love Hewitt and her steady, MTV veejay Carson Daly, broke out the party favors to give viewers a blow-by-blow account of the proceedings when they cohosted MTV’s New Year’s Eve Live broadcast from Times Square. The special featured performances by Method Man, Green Day and Limp Bizkit.

Patty Duke, who won an Oscar as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker, and Keller’s great-grandniece Keller Bane Johnson, viewed a portrait of the heroine before boarding a Tournament of Roses Parade float in Pasadena, Calif.