Smart, now engaged, has learned to balance sharing with the public and maintaining her privacy.
Ten years ago, the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart banded Americans across the country together in the search for the then-missing 14-year-old. Now 24, Smart's just announced her engagement and the reaction across the world has been nothing short of parental.
First surprise, then excitement, and finally curiosity. Those who've watched her grow up in the wake of unimaginable torture, eventually becoming a triumphant victim's advocate, want to know just who her future husband is.
Smart hoped to keep him a secret, but Internet investigators dug him up through the couple's registry and by early this week, major news outlets were identifying him as Matthew Gilmour, a 21-year-old from Scotland.
The couple reportedly met in France, where Smart was serving a mission for the LDS church. Gilmour shares her Mormon faith and her connection to music. The son of two music teachers, his late father once played in a brass band. Smart is a harp major at Brigham Young University.
The couple plans to wed in July, according to Smart's hometown paper, The Salt Lake Tribune . In the meantime, Smart's publicist has described the young survivor as "excited" about her marriage plans. So are her parents.
"The family is very excited for her," Ed Smart told People Magazine. "They've been very happy together. We're just thrilled. We're looking forward to her moving on to this next stage and leading a very happy life."
The family plans to keep the details of the big day private and hopefully their wishes will be respected. Still, there are thousands of parents of missing children who adopted Smart as a figure of hope. They'll likely be there this summer, toasting her in spirit.
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