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Courtney Hope Opens up About Chad Duell’s Surprise Marriage Proposal (EXCLUSIVE)


This Valentine’s Day turned out to be extra-special for THE YOUNG & THE RESTLESS star Courtney Hope (Sally) because that’s when beau Chad Duell (Michael, GENERAL HOSPITAL) popped the question! And the actress says that he went out of his way to make sure it was a surprise! “He told me he had planned a couple dinners, but to kind of throw me off,” she admitted to Soaps In Depth with a chuckle. “Because I’m normally pretty good at figuring things out and he knows me so well. So he did that on purpose.”

With their five-year anniversary falling just after Valentine’s Day, Hope had a feeling there was something coming, but the dinner reservations turned out to be the perfect decoy because she wasn’t expecting that their private picnic lunch on an isolated stretch of California beach would be the moment Duell would ask her to be his wife! Asked to turn around while he set something up, Hope revealed that her boyfriend kept pretending to be struggling with things to throw her off. “I didn’t know what he was doing,” she confided. “But he had brought a little red bag and I’m thinking to myself, ‘What the heck does he have to set up? That bag is so small.’ And then I started to kind of piece things together and then I just kind of started smiling because I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I hope!’

“And then I turned around and he was on his knee and I was just immediately beaming and so excited and I started welling up,” Hope continued. “And then he said, ‘Will you officially marry me?’ Which was kind of funny. We both laughed at that after the fact. He was like, ‘I don’t know why I said that. Will you officially marry me?’ It was so funny. And I was like, ‘Um, hell yeah!’ And then he was like, ‘Okay, good stuff.’ It was really cute. And it was totally us. We’re both very quirky and nerdy sometimes and it was exactly how it was supposed to be for us. It was perfect.”

Of course, as the newly-engaged couple was laughing at the actual proposal, there was one little detail Duell almost forgot. “It was really cute,” Hope recalled, “and then I go, ‘Are you gonna put it on my finger?’ And he was like, ‘Oh, right!’ He was just so in the moment and so excited. I put my hand out like, ‘Hello? Aren’t you forgetting something?’ It was fun. Both of us were immediately like, ‘Fiancé!’ We were totally that couple. Like, immediately.”

The sapphire stone turned out to be perfect for the engagement ring as it’s not just one of Hope’s favorites, representing loyalty, connection, and purity — It’s also Duell’s birthstone! While the Y&R star allowed that she hasn’t always been a big jewelry person, this is one particular piece of bling that’s already extremely special. “I had one day where I didn’t have it on and I kept feeling like it was there,” she smiled. “Like my finger was already used to it. I felt like I had a ghost ring on. I love it.”

Courtney Hope Chad Duell ring
Hope’s gorgeous engagement ring means everything to her.Instagram

And when it’s not on the actress’ finger, it has a very special home, her grandmother’s ring stand. “My grandfather had gotten one for his three daughters, which was my mom and her two sisters,” Hope explained. “And when my grandma passed away, my mom got it and gave it to me. So it’s been in my drawer with nothing on it. So on Valentine’s night, I went and got it before I went to bed so I can put it on the little thing next to my bed that was my grandma’s. So that was really special to me.”

 Since it was the picnic that turned out to be the big moment for the proposal, Hope naturally wondered about all those decoy dinners that Duell had set up for them. “I was like, ‘Are we still going to those dinners?’” she laughed. “And he’s like, ‘Um, not all of them!’”

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