Princess Diana’s Iconic Engagement Ring Wasn’t Originally Meant for Kate Middleton

When Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with his late mother’s iconic engagement ring in 2010, we were only getting half of the story.

It turns out Princess Diana’s ring—a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon faceted sapphire surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds and set in 18K white gold—wasn’t actually Prince William’s to give away. According to a new report from The Sun, it was inherited by younger brother Harry.

Per the report (and the Amazon Prime documentary The Diana Story), when Diana died in 1997, Prince Harry was allowed to select a piece from his mother’s jewelry collection, and he chose the ring. But when Prince William was getting ready to propose to Middleton, Harry offered it to his brother. Of course, Meghan Markle wasn’t yet in the picture, but the selfless gesture meant Harry wouldn’t be able to give the family heirloom to his own future wife. How very Diana of him.

This adds another facet (ha) to the ring’s already complex history. Before it sat on Middleton’s finger, it was presented to Diana by Prince Charles in February 1981. Remarkably, the Garrard design was a stock item, meaning any commoner could snag the same piece. (Royal rings are traditionally bespoke.) Nevertheless, Diana wore it even after she and Charles separated (and up until the divorce was finalized in 1996). Oh yeah, and it’s reportedly worth more than $500,000.

No worries for Harry and Meghan, though. Markle instead wears a hefty three-stone ring, which features a central Botswana diamond flanked by two smaller diamonds from Princess Di’s private collection, as well as a demi-pavé band. Not bad at all, right?

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