Princess Diana’s Engagement Ring Was Given to Prince Harry, This Is How It Ended Up With Kate Middleton

Princess Diana’s engagement ring is a thing of beauty. Back in 1981 when the late-princess was just 20 years old, and she and Prince Charles got engaged, the Princess of Wales picked out the sapphire stunner herself from a photo in a Garrard catalog. At the time, people were appalled. After all, the British Royal Family has a ton of royal jewelers at their disposal, so a member of the royal family picking something out from a catalog was unheard of. Luckily, the public fell in love with the 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire ring, and its 14 solitaire diamonds set in 18-karat white gold.

Even after she and Prince Charles separated, the princess still wore her ring until they officially divorced in 1996. When Prince William proposed to his longtime love, Duchess Kate Middleton back in 2010, he did so with his mother’s ring. However, when the princess of Wales died tragically in 1997, her ring was actually given to Prince Harry — so why is it on Kate Middleton’s finger and not Duchess Megan Markle’s?

Princess Diana

Princess Diana | ANTONIO SCORZA/AFP/Getty Images

Princess Diana’s last wishes

Though she was very young — not even 40 when she passed away, Princess Diana made sure she had a will in place so that her young sons, Princes William and Harry were taken care of.  According to Marie Claire, Diana wrote, “I would like you to allocate all my jewelry to the share to be held by my sons, so that their wives may, in due course, have it or use it. I leave the exact division of the jewelry to your discretion.”

A sweet brotherly gesture

Just 15 and 12 when their mother passed away in late summer 1997, Prince William and Harry were tasked with going through her jewelry and dividing it among themselves. In the Amazon Prime documentary, The Diana Story, Princess Diana’s butler Paul Burrell recalls being with the boys as they looked through their mother’s things. He remembered, “First, William picked out Princess Diana’s Cartier watch. “I’d like mummy’s Cartier watch, the one that Grandpa Spencer gave to her for her 21st birthday.” Then, Harry said he’d like Diana’s blue engagement ring. “I remember when I held mummy’s hand when I was a small boy, and that ring always hurt me because it was so big.”

Kate Middleton and Princess Diana

Left: Kate Middleton | Pool/Getty Images, Right: Princess Diana | Pool/Getty Images

Meeting Kate

When Prince William decided to propose to his college sweetheart Kate Middleton in 2010, Prince Harry was all for it. The duchess had been around the royals for years, and the red-headed prince had grown to love her like the sister he’d never had. As the brothers began to discuss an engagement ring for Middleton, Prince Harry suggested Princess Diana’s ring. He said, “Wouldn’t it be fitting if she had mummy’s ring? Then one day that ring will be sat on the throne of England.”

Back in 2010, Prince Harry was still on and off with his ex-girlfriend Chelsy Davy, and he didn’t see marriage on the horizon. With his brother in line to become the King of England, he wanted to make sure his mother’s legacy remained in a significant way. The older prince kept the ring in his backpack for three weeks while exploring Mount Kenya with Middleton in 2010, before finally popping the question.

Princess Diana's engagement ring on Kate Middleton

Princess Diana’s engagement ring on Kate Middleton | Arthur Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images

A $500,000 stunner

The ring currently sits on Kate Middleton’s finger, and it’s worth has certainly grown since Prince Charles purchased it for $37,000 back in 1981. Today the ring is worth a massive $500,000. Prince William said of giving his mother’s ring to his bride, “It’s my mother’s engagement ring, and it’s very special to me, as Kate is very special to me now as well. It was only right the two were put together. It was my way of making sure mother didn’t miss out on today and the excitement.”

Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!