Kate Middleton's Parents Join Prince William at Balmoral

11/02/2010 at 08:30 AM EDT

Kate Middleton's Parents Join Prince William at Balmoral
Prince William and Kate Middleton
News International/Zuma
Has the starting gun been fired in Prince William and Kate Middleton's race to the altar?

That's the question royal watchers are asking as new photos emerged showing William and his possible future in-laws enjoying a shooting weekend together on the royal estate of Balmoral.

One of the photos, published by Britain's Daily Mail, shows Carol Middleton lying in the grass, learning how to aim a rifle, while her husband Michael looks on.

The shared holiday is seen as another sign that an engagement could be imminent for William and Kate, both 28 – speculation that intensified when they stepped out publicly at a friend's wedding last month.

A spokesman at Prince William's office says, "We don't comment on Prince William's private time."

For the prince, all the chatter about his private life and any upcoming decision can get tiresome. "It's a slight disadvantage," he recently told a Sky One documentary, "but I'm very lucky to be in my position. So, I won't complain."

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