Prince Harry Actually Inherited Princess Diana's Iconic Engagement Ring But Let Kate Middleton Have It

Nov 18, 2020 by apost team

It's common knowledge by now that when Prince William proposed to his now-wife Kate Middleton, he did so with his late mother Princess Diana's engagement ring. What many may not know, however, is that it was his younger brother Prince Harry who initially inherited it. 

The new information was revealed in a documentary on the Royal family, in which a former Butler who worked for Princess Diana said Prince Harry 'selflessly' offered it to his brother for his proposal. 

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

In the recent documentary "The Diana Story," released by Amazon Prime in September, Paul Burrell, a former butler of Diana's, confirmed that Prince Harry originally inherited the late princess' engagement ring.  According to the Sun, Prince Harry was told to pick out some of his late mother's jewels after she died in 1997. One of the gems he had chosen was the $400,000 iconic sapphire ring.

In 2010, when Prince William revealed he was planning to propose to his then-girlfriend Kate Middleton, his younger brother offered him the ring as a tribute to their mother.

Hulton Archive /Hulton Royals Collection/Getty Images

"Harry said to him: 'Wouldn't it be fitting if she had mummy's ring?'," Mr. Burrell said in the documentary. The former butler said Prince Harry's "selfless" action highlights the qualities Diana raised her children to have. 

"Then one day that ring will be sat on the throne of England. Harry gave up his precious treasure," Burrell added.  "His one thing he kept from his mother, he gave to his brother. That's selfless, kind and exactly who Diana was."

Prince William proposed to Kate in 2010 while on vacation in Kenya. According to the Duchess, the proposal came as a huge surprise. "He's a true romantic and we had a wonderful holiday in Africa and it was out there in a very quiet lodge and it was very romantic and it was very personal time for both of us," Middleton told ITV at the time, according to ABC News.

According to Prince William, proposing with Diana's engagement ring meant his late mother "didn't miss out" on the special day. "Well as you may recognize now, 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," he said at the time. 

As Kate Middleton ended up becoming the new proud owner of the beautiful ring, Prince Harry got creative when the time came to propose to his now-wife, Meghan Markle. The Prince opted for designing his own piece of jewelry, to which he even added a bit of sentiment. According to the Sun, the yellow-gold ring featured a central stone hailing from Botswana, a country Harry and Meghan have fond memories of, along with two smaller diamonds from Diana's collection. 

The Prince proposed to Meghan in November 2017, while enjoying a chicken dinner at Kensington Palace. Referring to the ring, Meghan said it meant Diana "with us on this crazy journey together." At the time Meghan said: "Everything about Harry's thoughtfulness and the inclusion of Princess Diana's stones and obviously not being able to meet his mum. It's so important to me to know that she's a part of this with us."

Hulton Archive /Hulton Royals Collection/Getty Images

Iconic as the sapphire engagement ring might be, it actually stirred quite the controversy when Prince Charles's engagement to Diana was first announced. When the couple made their engagement public on February 24, 1981, they also revealed the ring for the first time, which featured a 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire stone, surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds sitting on 18-karat white gold. At the time, the ring was said to have cost Prince Charles a whopping $60,000. Today, it's estimated to be worth as much as $500,000, according to Oprah Mag

According to Princess Diana's biographical book, Diana: Her True Story--in Her Own Words,  Prince Charles had initially proposed to her without a ring. "He said 'Will you marry me?' and I laughed," Diana revealed in the book, written by journalist Andrew Morton. "I remember thinking, this is a joke, and I said 'Yeah, OK,' and laughed. He was deadly serious," she added.

WPA Pool/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Since he didn't have a ring for her, Prince Charles got Diana to choose one from a selection of designs by the then-Crown jeweler, Gerrard. That's when Diana chose the iconic sapphire piece. Her choice, however, did not sit very well with the Royal family. It wasn't the norm for a Royal to wear jewelry that was not custom made and available for public purchase. It isn't clear why Diana chose that piece. While some say it was because it featured the largest stone, others think it reminded her of her mother's engagement ring. 

In any case, she loved the ring so much she continued to wear it even after her divorce from Prince Charles. 

Chris Jackson/Getty Images

What is your favorite piece of Royal jewelry? Let us know in the comments, and make sure you pass this along to your friends and family! 

Please scroll below for more stories. :-)