The History of Kate Middleton's Engagement Ring

Kate+Middleton in Kate Middleton's Engagement Ring
A close up of Kate Middleton's engagement ring as she poses for photographs in the State Apartments with her fiance Prince William of St James Palace on November 16, 2010 in London, England. After much speculation, Clarence House today announced the engagement of Prince William to Kate Middleton. The couple will get married in either the Spring or Summer of next year and continue to live in North Wales while Prince William works as an air sea rescue pilot for the RAF. The couple became engaged during a recent holiday in Kenya having been together for eight years. (Getty Images)more pics » The History of Kate Middleton's Engagement Ring Kate Middleton
When Prince William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement, many were stunned to see Princess Diana's famous sapphire sparkler on Kate's ring finger. The stunning 18-carat sapphire and diamond ring was originally selected by Diana in 1981, which caused a controversy at the time as the ring was available to the public for purchase rather than made specifially for her.

Diana's attachment to the deep blue engagement ring remained after her marriage to Prince Charles ended. She was often photographed still wearing the stunning sapphire, which Prince Harry inherited after her passing.

As a result of its lengthy history, Kate Middleton's engagement ring is very emotionally significant. As Prince William explained, "It is very special to me. It was my way to make sure my mother did not miss out on today and the excitement that we are going to spend the rest of our lives together.'

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