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13 Things Duchesses Kate and Meghan Inherited from Princess Diana

Ever the romantic at heart, the People's Princess, Diana, put a provision in her will for her sons that envisioned both of their future marriages.

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British Royal visit to Zimbabwe - 1993
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The legacy of love (and romance)

When Diana, Princess of Wales, was killed in a tragic car crash in a Paris tunnel in 1997, she left behind a hefty estate, a large portion of which went to Princes William and Harry. Although not all her wishes were not taken into account when her will was executed, one important one was, and that was that her sons, William and Harry, would inherit her jewelry “so that their wives may, in due course, have it or use it.” It’s a sweet and romantic gesture, and as we’ll see, her boys have clearly honored her wishes. Here’s exactly what William and Harry inherited from Princess Diana.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle engaged, London, United Kingdom - 27 Nov 2017

Meghan’s engagement ring

Markle’s engagement ring is comprised of two diamonds that Harry found in his mum’s collection (the central and largest stone is from Botswana, where Meghan and Harry holidayed pre-engagement). Harry wanted his mum in on his and Meghan’s “crazy journey together,” according to Hello Magazine. “It is days like today when I really miss having her around and miss being able to share the happy news. But, you know, with the ring and with everything else that’s going on, I’m sure she’s with us, you know, jumping up and down somewhere else.” Here are 18 tiny details you may have missed at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding.

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David Attenborough's: 'Natural History Museum Alive' screening, London, Britain - 11 Dec 2013

Catherine’s engagement ring

Although Prince Harry actually fell in love with the iconic 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire engagement ring that his father gave to his mum, he let William have it (to give to Kate Middleton). “It’s my mother’s engagement ring,” William said after the engagement was announced, “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.”

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Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge visit to Glasgow, Scotland, Britain - 04 Apr 2013
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William must know how much Kate loves sapphire…

Presumably, to go with the sapphire engagement ring, in 2010, the year of their engagement, Prince William gave his fiancĂ©, Kate Middleton, a pair of sapphire earrings from Diana’s collection. Since then, the Duchess of Cambridge has updated the earrings to the drop-style shown here. Don’t miss these secrets about Princess Diana that no one knew until after her death.

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Tim Rooke/Shutterstock

Meghan has the stunning aquamarine cocktail ring

On their wedding day, Prince Harry not only placed a wedding ring on Meghan’s finger, but he also gave Meghan the striking emerald-cut aquamarine cocktail ring that had once graced Diana’s elegant finger. It was a ring she wore after her marriage to Prince Charles since she no longer felt comfortable wearing her engagement ring. She was seen wearing it at an auction of her own clothing at Christie’s in 1997.

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Prince William and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge visit to Germany - 20 Jul 2017
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Kate has made the three-strand pearl bracelet seem trendy again

It was never the most chic or most iconic piece in Diana’s jewelry collection, but this three-strand pearl bracelet designed by Nigel Milne in 1988 has classic staying power, as demonstrated by Duchess Catherine, wearing it on a trip to Germany in 2017. Don’t miss Princess Diana’s 15 most iconic style moments.

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Diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace, London, Britain - 08 Dec 2015
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Kate loves the Lover’s Knot Tiara

The Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara was one of Diana’s favorite tiaras, and she was photographed in it many times. After Diana and Charles divorced, Diana returned the tiara to the Queen (who had given it to her on the occasion of her wedding to Prince Charles). In 2015, it resurfaced when the Duchess of Cambridge wore it a diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace. Here she’s wearing it at a State Banquet in July 2017.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex tour of Australia - 16 Oct 2018
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Meghan dons butterfly earrings for a special tour

In a touching nod to her late mum-in-law, Meghan wore these beautiful butterfly earrings from Diana’s collection as she embarked on a 16-day Australia tour with Prince Harry. These were the earrings that Diana first started wearing soon after Prince Harry was born.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Duchess of Sussex tour of Australia - 16 Oct 2018

Meghan also wore Diana’s gold bracelet on the tour

Another piece from Diana’s collection that Meghan wore during her Australian tour with Harry was this gold bracelet. The wearing of this bracelet was a nod to the fact that this was Meghan and Harry’s first official trip together as newlyweds, and Australia was the first official trip Diana and Charles took together.

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RICHARD DREW/AP/Shutterstock

Catherine in the Cartier Tank Francaise Watch

This gold Cartier Tank Francaise watch had been given to Diana by her father. After her divorce from Prince Charles, Diana was frequently photographed wearing this watch, and William cherished it so much, it was his favorite item of all her jewelry.

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Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer, London, Britain - 29 Jul 1981

Wedding gown

While not technically jewelry, Diana’s wedding gown is a literal treasure, and she left it to William and Harry. While neither Princess Kate nor Meghan wore the dress for their own weddings, it’s not too late for Princess Charlotte to wear it when she makes her trip down the aisle someday. Here’s the story of Diana’s wedding gown…and her spare!

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The christening of Prince George, Chapel Royal, St James's Palace, London, Britain - 23 Oct 2013 Prince George

Christening gown

Prince Harry and Meghan’s son, Archie, was christened in the same christening gown worn by Prince Harry and Prince William, and, of course, Prince William’s children. That said, this gown, known as the “Honiton” christening gown, has been worn by 62 royal babies, including five monarchs, over the course of its 163 years of royal service, according to Town and Country. It was first worn by Queen Victoria’s eldest child, Princess Vicky. Here are the royal pregnancy rules Meghan must follow.

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The Wedding of Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank, Windsor, Berkshire, UK - 12 Oct 2018

The royal title, “Her Royal Highness, Princess of Wales”

Upon the death of the current Queen, Prince Charles will become King, making the title of “Prince of Wales” available for him to grant to William. If William becomes the Prince of Wales, then Duchess Catherine will become “Her Royal Highness, The Princess of Wales” just as Diana was during her marriage to Charles. Fun fact: Camilla declined to take the title when she married Prince Charles, out of respect for Diana. Next, check out these stunning, rarely seen photos of Princess Diana.

Lauren Cahn
Lauren has covered knowledge, history, the British royal family, true crime and riddles for Reader's Digest since 2017. She sharpened her research skills as an attorney in the 1990s, became an early HuffPost blogger in the 2000s, then began reporting local news in the 2010s. She's been writing news, features and celebrity interviews for a variety of publications since and values being a source of trusted information on the topics her readers care about. In addition to Reader's Digest, her byline appears in The Healthy, Taste of Home, Family Handyman, Mashed, Tasting Table, Eat This, Not That!, Grown and Flown, MSN, Yahoo, AOL, Insider and Business Insider.