On Nov. 16, 2010, the world learned that Prince William had proposed to his longtime girlfriend Kate Middleton. When the couple spoke about their proposal in a joint interview, Kate showed off the sapphire ring William had given her, which had once belonged to his mother, Princess Diana.
Many people remembered Diana wearing the same stunning sapphire ring years before. Her daughter-in-law is rarely seen without the ring these days, but she has reportedly changed it. Continue reading to find out what it is.
Princess Diana’s ring was in Prince Harry’s possession before Prince William.
William’s brother, Prince Harry, had the ring in his possession before he gave it to his wife.
The princess’s former butler, Paul Burrell, said in the Amazon Prime documentary The Diana Story that he had given the ring to Diana’s youngest son. Following his boss’s tragic death, Burrell asked the boys if they wanted to “take something that belonged to her that you can keep safe,” as he put it.
“I’d like mummy’s Cartier watch, the one that Grandpa Spencer gave her for her 21st birthday,” William told him.
Harry then went on to talk about his mother’s ring, which “always hurt” when she held his hand “because it was so big.” Burrell realized he was referring to her engagement ring, so he went to get it and gave it to him. When William decided to propose to Kate years later, Harry suggested he do so with their late mother’s ring. “Wouldn’t it be fitting if she had Mummy’s ring?” the younger prince reportedly said in a conversation between Harry and William, according to Burrell. Then that ring will be on the throne of England one day.”
The change Kate made to the iconic ring
Kate has stated that she adores the ring, but that it had to be altered because it was too large for her finger. The duchess, on the other hand, refused to have the ring resoldered.
“It’s hard to imagine the world-famous 12-carat sapphire engagement ring Prince William gave Kate Middleton needing to be altered in any way,” Melissa Willets of The List said (per Express). “After all, the massive oval-shaped ring has a halo of 14 sparkling diamonds and an illustrious pedigree, having once belonged to Princess Diana. But the engagement ring would never fit her the way it did Diana, and there’s a perfectly understandable reason why Kate had to alter the seemingly perfect piece of jewelry William gave her upon their betrothal.”
“As Hello! reported, the band of the ring previously worn by Princess Diana was a little too big for the slender Kate, so jeweler G. Collins and Sons took on the delicate task of resizing the royal ring,” Willets added. Rather than resoldering the band, the jeweler decided to add small platinum beads to the inside to help the 18-karat-gold ring fit better.”
The famous engagement ring had previously caused anger among members of the royal family
Another hard to believe fact is that the ring Kate proudly wears today was once a source of discontent among the royal family. That’s because the sapphire ring, which is set in 18-karat white gold and features 14 solitaire diamonds, was purchased from a Garrard catalog rather than being custom-made.
That did not sit well with the royal family, who did not want commoners to have access to the same jewels as royals, according to Vogue. It was even dubbed “the commoner’s ring,” which is ironic considering it is now on the finger of a woman who was once a commoner before marrying a future king.