It’s hard to miss the giant rock on Kate Middleton’s left ring finger. The stunning sapphire and diamond engagement ring Prince William proposed with has been valued at a jaw-dropping £300,000 (nearly $400,000). The real standout about the ring isn’t its price tag, though—it’s the sweet history behind it. The engagement ring first belonged to Princess Diana. When she and Prince Charles were shopping from the official royal jeweler, Garrard, in 1981, one caught Charles’ eye: a 12-carat sapphire studded with 14 diamonds. Don’t miss these other 18 times Kate wore similar outfits to Diana’s.
The ring’s design looked remarkably similar to the brooch Prince Albert had custom-made for Queen Victoria before they got married in 1840. Victoria wore it as her “something blue” during the wedding, and loved it enough that it became one of her go-to accessories until Albert died in 1861, according to Vogue. Take a look at the rarely seen photos of Princess Diana’s wedding day.
After Queen Victoria died, her will mandated that the brooch would become a Crown heirloom, so it needs to stay with the royal family. Queen Elizabeth II has been known to wear it on special days, like meeting John F. Kennedy and at Prince William’s christening.
With such a history behind the design, it’s no surprise Charles ended up proposing with the sapphire ring.
When Diana died in 1997, her sons were brought to Kensington Palace to select a “keepsake,” according to the Daily Star. Here’s where the twist comes in—William picked a Cartier watch, while Harry was the one to choose her engagement ring. This is why Prince Harry and Prince William’s last phone call with their mother still haunts them.
Fast-forward 13 years. When William decided to propose to Kate, Harry didn’t hesitate to let his big brother offer the ring to his own fiancé, despite the fact that William had initially gone with the watch. “They had an agreement that whoever got engaged first would have Diana’s ring,” a source tells the Daily Star. Even though William got to give Kate his mother’s ring, Prince Harry was still able to pay a touching tribute to Diana with the engagement ring he used to propose to his wife Meghan Markle with. Here’s the heartwarming detail about Meghan Markle’s engagement ring that will make you melt.