Among the dazzling jewelry pieces owned by the royal family, one stands out as instantly recognizable: the 18-carat sapphire and diamond ring that once belonged to Princess Diana. This iconic ring now graces Kate Middleton’s left hand, given to her by Prince William in 2010 when he proposed after years of dating.
The Princess of Wales proudly displayed this dazzling ring during their engagement photos, and it has since become a coveted piece, even by Prince Harry, who reportedly hoped to give it to his future wife. According to Princess Diana’s former butler, Paul Burrell, after her tragic passing in 1997, Prince Charles allowed his two sons to select a special item from her jewelry collection to keep.

Harry had originally asked for her engagement ring, while William opted for a Cartier watch. In an Amazon Prime documentary, Paul recalled that William had said, “I’d like Mummy’s Cartier watch, the one that Grandpa Spencer gave to her for her 21st birthday.” He went on to claim that Harry wanted the iconic ring due to its sentimental value, as he remembered holding his mother’s hand when he was a small boy, and the ring always seemed too big.

However, when the time came for William to get engaged, Harry made a selfless decision and allowed his brother to use the ring he had cherished for years. Paul said that Harry told William, “Wouldn’t it be fitting if she had Mummy’s ring?” He went on to say, “One day, that ring will be sat on the throne of England. Harry gave up his precious treasure, the one thing he kept from his mother, and gave it to his brother. That’s selfless, kind, and exactly who Diana was.”

During William and Kate’s engagement interview a decade ago, Prince William explained that using the ring was a way to keep his mother close during this special time, saying, “Obviously, she’s not going to be around to share in all the fun and excitement, so this is my way of keeping her close to it all.”

Despite giving up the iconic ring, Harry managed to select an engagement ring for his wife, Meghan Markle, that also had ties to his late mother and held sentimental value for the couple. The yellow gold ring was designed by Harry and featured multiple diamonds, with the central one from Botswana, a place they had cherished from a previous trip together. The other two stones were from Diana’s personal collection.

Discussing the ring following their engagement in 2017, Harry explained, “The ring is obviously yellow gold because that’s her favorite, and the main stone itself I sourced from Botswana, and the little diamonds on either side are from my mother’s jewelry collection. It’s a way to make sure that she’s with us on this crazy journey together.” Meghan added, “I think everything about Harry’s thoughtfulness and the inclusion of that, and obviously not being able to meet his mum, it’s so important to me, too, to know that she’s a part of this with us, and it’s incredibly special.”

However, it seems that a few tweaks have been made to the ring since then, with Meghan spotted wearing a redesigned version of her engagement ring in 2019. The modified piece featured a thinner micropave band and was seen alongside another stunning ring in a book about the couple. The book explained the reason for the change and the significance of the eternity band.

In their biography, “Finding Freedom,” royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand wrote that on May 19, 2019, Harry surprised Meghan, his wife of one year, with a gift—an eternity band featuring conflict-free diamonds. This band paid homage to their family of three, with Meghan’s, the newly born Prince Archie’s, and Harry’s birthstones represented. On the underside of the ring, the jeweler revealed Harry’s desire to make it special, describing him as “the loveliest person ever, so romantic.