Maria Sharapova and Alexander Gilkes welcomed their first child together in 2022
Maria Sharapova and Alexander Gilkes are getting ready to head down the aisle.
The professional tennis alum and businessman were first rumored to be dating in January 2018 and were first spotted at private events together before they went out in public later that year.
Less than a year after their public debut, Gilkes shared with Robb Report that he saw Sharapova as his "guru."
"[She] is a great role model in my learning focus and discipline, a linearity versus my more radial structures," he said.
In December 2020, Gilkes proposed to Sharapova and the pair announced their engagement via Instagram. A year later, she announced that they were expecting their first child together. They welcomed their son, Theodore, in July 2022.
"Every single week you learn something new about them, about their personality," Sharapova told PEOPLE of their bundle of joy. "Although it's a full-time job, it's also just so gratifying to see this little human grow and to express himself and to share your moments with him when he's awake. It's all very special."
So who is Maria Sharapova's fiancé? Here's everything to know about Alexander Gilkes and his relationship with the former tennis star.
He worked in art
Gilkes discovered his passion for art in 1997 when he attended Charles Saatchi’s “Sensation” exhibition, he told the Observer. Aside from becoming an auctioneer for fine art, he also served on the board of trustees of the New York Academy of Art since 2016.
“I’m very interested in the emergence of street culture as it is without doubt one of, if not the most, disruptive and transformative forces in today’s contemporary art world,” he told Robb Report of his favorite art style. “And it is the force that has brought in new audiences… I think this whole street culture movement and its effect in fashion and in various other types of apparel and in art, is a true defining force of today’s trend.”
He is an entrepreneur
Gilkes held numerous positions over the years. He was an auctioneer at Phillips under the guidance of Simon de Pury. Then, in 2011, he founded the online auction website, Paddle8.
"We wanted to enhance access to this very elitist and fairly esoteric art world," Gilkes told GQ of the company’s concept. "I think art was becoming more accessible with the dissemination of technology, but the actual ability to acquire remained difficult—it required a lot of time and footwork on your own end."
He added, "So the idea is that from the comfort of your desk you can get access to galleries that have already been selected for you and represent the best artists and artworks."
In 2018, the business was sold to The Native and Gilkes stepped down as CEO. Two years later, he co-founded Squared Circles, a venture studio.
He has royal connections
Gilkes attended Eton College where he befriended Prince Harry and Prince William. He has never talked about his relationship with the brothers publicly. He was, however, a guest at Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding.
Princess Eugenie, whom Gilkes affectionately refers to as "Eug," is also a close friend and worked at Paddle8 for two years after receiving her degree.
Gilkes and Sharapova went public with their relationship in 2018
Although they were first spotted out in public in January 2018 in Los Angeles, it wasn’t until October that they made it Instagram official with somewhat cryptic posts. Previously, the couple were spotted at the Argento Ball for the Elton John Aids Foundation in June and walking around Beverly Hills in March.
In October, the pair shared photos of themselves on vacation in the Cotswolds. Sharapova also shared an Instagram Story of her then-boyfriend.
“The Cotwold’s [sic] Fields of Gold… retracing childhood steps #thefall,” Gilkes wrote in the caption of his post. “Your photographer is better than mine 🤷🏼♀️,” Sharapova commented on the post, jokingly referencing herself.
He proposed to Maria Sharapova
In December 2020, the couple revealed that he popped the question and proposed to her.
"I said yes from the first day we met❤️This was our little secret, wasn’t it 💍🥂@gilkesa," Sharapova wrote alongside a selfie of them.
Gilkes wrote in his own post, "Thank you for making me a very very happy boy. I look forward to a lifetime of loving you, and learning from you @mariasharapova #💍."
He is a father
On July 1, 2022, the couple welcomed their first child together — a son named Theodore. They made the big announcement in an Instagram post with his birth date written in Roman numerals.
"The most beautiful, challenging, and rewarding gift our little family could ask for," Sharapova wrote.
A month after welcoming baby Theodore, Sharapova spoke with PEOPLE about the "challenging" aspects of breastfeeding.
"You really don't know much about what you're doing and then you just figure it out. And then, in the end, it's all okay. I think it's more of the scheduling that's tricky. It's so many times a day," she said.
The tennis star also shared how she slowly returned to working out after giving birth. "I spent the last three months of pregnancy, I'd say in a nesting stage where I didn't do too much. I didn't feel my body was ready and I was getting quite tired. I felt quite uncomfortable towards the end," she explained. "Once I gave birth, I had this renewed energy, which I think I needed."
He speaks Russian, his fiancée’s native language
Sharapova was born in Nyagan, Russia, and, coincidentally, Gilkes already had an interest in the Russian language and culture before meeting her. He speaks Russian in addition to French, Spanish and English.
He is a British Vogue contributing editor
Aside from editing pieces for the fashion magazine on a freelance basis, Gilkes has also written for the publication along with his future bride. One of their articles was a safari diary when they traveled to Botswana and Rwanda in February 2020.
“After a day spent pushing the amphibious vehicle to its limits through the plains and ponds, seeing more lions, hippos, crocodiles, zebras and giraffes, Maria and I took a boat ride through the dense papyrus reeds down the Delta, and watched the Monet sky turn from orange to crimson to purple,” Gilkes wrote in British Vogue. “The Wilderness team laid out the most beautiful sundowner spread, staged under the canopy of a baobab tree and littered with candles."
For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!
Read the original article on People.