Voulez-vous vous marier avec moi?.... but only if you’ll buy the ring!

27 Feb 2012

*Eurostar research finds almost 47% of women would 'pop the question'
*64% of women who would propose would expect their fiancé to buy the ring
*30% of people consider Paris to be the most romantic city in Europe

With February 29 and another Leap Year fast approaching, thousands of women are preparing to pop the all important question, as new research by Eurostar reveals almost half (47 per cent) would propose to their partner.

The study also found that those women who do pluck up the courage can expect a positive response, with 75 per cent of the men questioned saying they would be comfortable if their girlfriend proposed. This is particularly the case in the West Country and Yorkshire, where 90 per cent of the 'modern' men questioned in Bristol and Leeds saying they would be comfortable if their partner popped the question, compared to only half (50 per cent) of the more traditional men in Belfast.

However, those men that do say yes may not be too pleased when they realise they're still expected to buy the ring, as 64 per cent of women indicated they would still want their new fiancé to buy the diamond.

When it comes to timing it seems both men and women are in agreement. Almost half of the men and women questioned (49 vs 42 per cent) said they would ideally propose on a romantic holiday, compared to 34 per cent and 21 per cent respectively on their partner's birthday, and 31 percent and 27 per cent respectively on their anniversary.

After decades at the top of the pile, Paris still topped the list of most romantic European cities for both men and women with almost a third of both sexes voting the city as more romantic than either Venice or Rome. Whereas, Berlin was voted as the least romantic city with less than 1% of those questioned claiming the city set their hearts a flutter.

The most romantic European cities:

1. Paris (30%)

2. Venice (26%)

3. Rome (15%)

4. Barcelona (5%)

5. Prague (4%)

Mary Walsh, Director of Communications for Eurostar said; "It seems that the modern man has met his match with the modern woman with thousands of women planning to get down on one knee during Leap year.

"Each year we see a jump in bookings to Paris for Valentines Day and this year we've seen a similar surge on February 29, compared to a typical Wednesday. Our on-board crews have seen their fair share of marriage proposals and perhaps this Leap year, there will be a few more couples walking down our aisles."


Note to editors:

Survey by Opinion Matters based on online interviews with over 1,100 adults aged 18+ (in UK). Fieldwork: 10 – 13 February 2012

About Eurostar

1. Eurostar is the high-speed train service linking St Pancras International, Ebbsfleet International, Ashford International, Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais, Disneyland® Paris, Avignon and the French Alps.

2. Eurostar was established in 1994 as a partnership between three railway companies: SNCF, SNCB and LCR (London and Continental Railways). On 1 September 2010, Eurostar became a single, unified corporate entity owned by three shareholders: SNCF, SNCB and LCR.

3. The current Eurostar train was first introduced into service in 1994 carrying 750 passengers and operating at speeds of up to 300kph. Since then, the fleet of 28 trains has carried more than 100 million passengers between London and the Continent. Following their refurbishment these trains will continue to form a core part of the Eurostar fleet. The new Eurostar e320 will carry more than 900 passengers at speeds of up to 320kph.

4. Eurostar is a founder member of Railteam, a partnership between Europe's leading high-speed train operators that is developing simpler ways to book and travel on the fast-expanding European high-speed rail network.

5. The Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel

· Since 2001 the Ashden awards have been supporting sustainability projects across the globe and now they're working with Eurostar to promote sustainable travel.

· As part of the Tread Lightly programme to cut carbon and get people thinking differently about their journeys, Eurostar has launched the Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel.

· With a prize fund and a host of benefits, the Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel will celebrate and support local sustainable travel projects in the UK, France and Belgium.

6. Eurostar and Eurotunnel are entirely separate companies. Eurostar operates high-speed passenger trains, while Eurotunnel operates vehicle shuttle services and the Channel Tunnel itself. Eurostar is Eurotunnel's biggest customer.

7. To book tickets or for more travel information, please visit www.eurostar.com or call 03448 224 777.

For more information contact:

Lucy Drake
Eurostar Press Officer
t:020 7843 5403
m:07816 276 316
e: lucy.drake@eurostar.com