William Proposes With Diana's Engagement Ring
Prince William has given Kate Middleton his mother's engagement ring, he has revealed.
The Prince proposed with the blue sapphire and diamond ring that his father, the Prince of Wales, gave to Diana, Princess of Wales, in February 1981.
He told reporters he had made the decision to use his mother's ring to make sure she "didn't miss out on the excitement" of the wedding.
And William said he had been carrying it around in his rucksack for weeks before proposing during a holiday in Kenya last month.
"It's my mother's engagement ring so I thought it was quite nice because obviously she's not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement of it all," he said.
"This was my way of keeping her close to it all. I'm not an expert. I've been reliably informed it's a sapphire with some diamonds.
"I'm sure everyone recognises it from previous times."
Miss Middleton said: "It's beautiful. I just hope I look after it."
Diana chose the ring - which cost £28,000 at the time - from a selection presented to her by jewellers Garrard.
It features an oval blue sapphire surrounded by a cluster of 14 small diamonds.
In a departure from convention, the item of jewellery was not designed especially for Diana, meaning members of the public could buy the same ring from the Garrard catalogue.
Given the iconic status of Diana and the new lease of life now given to ring, anyone who bought one at the time of the 1981 Royal wedding will have seen its value increase substantially.
And the high street was quick in its attempts cash in on the news, with jewellery chain stores offering the 'royal engagement ring look' within an hour of the real thing being unveiled.
But with media scrutiny of Miss Middleton already intensifying, William's decision will inevitably fuel even more comparison between his wife-to-be and the late Princess.