Earlier this year in June, Kate Middleton celebrated her 11th wedding anniversary with husband Prince William.
On the day she walked down the aisle to the altar on April 29, 2011, the Princess of Wales was spotted wearing her stunning engagement ring.
The Duchess of Cambridge showed it off at the couple’s engagement announcement[/caption]
Kate Middleton’s engagement ring has a long history[/caption]
The eye-catching piece of jewelry was first unveiled a few months earlier, in November 2010, when the couple announced their engagement to the world.
But what’s the story behind the gorgeous blue piece?
What is Kate Middleton’s engagement ring?
It is a 12k Ceylon oval sapphire surrounded by 14 diamonds and set in 18k white gold.
According to Vogue, it is based on a brooch Prince Albert had made by jewelers Garrard in 1840 for his future wife, Queen Victoria.
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It features a sapphire and diamonds[/caption]
This brooch once belonged to the late Queen – and it inspired King Charles in choosing an engagement ring for Princess Diana in 1981.
Sara Prentice, Garrard’s creative director, told the magazine that he originally intended to buy something, but “it ended up actually putting in a sapphire cluster ring for her.”
How much is Kate’s engagement ring worth?
According to Marie Claire, the ring was worth £28,000 at the time it was made.
Experts estimate its value is closer to £300,000 to £400,000 these days.
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However, given the historical significance it holds today, some believe it is actually priceless.
Did the ring belong to Princess Diana?
The ring’s first owner was the late Princess Diana – who received it from Prince Charles when he proposed to him in 1981.
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She was pictured wearing the stunning piece numerous times after her wedding.
It was originally created by Prince Charles for Princess Diana[/caption]
It’s unclear if she returned it to the current king after their 1996 divorce.
After her death in 1997, however, it passed to her sons.
What is the story behind the ring?
It is believed that her youngest, Prince Harry, was the first recipient of the ring.
Paul Burrell told the Amazon documentary The Diana Story that the duke and his brother were allowed to pluck a souvenir from their estate shortly after their death.
He recalled the young prince saying, “I remember when I was a little boy I used to hold Mom’s hand and that ring used to hurt me because it was so big.”
Prince Harry gave the ring to Prince William to give to his wife-to-be[/caption]
The former butler then went to the safe and gave him the ring.
However, at a later date he decided to give it to his brother before his proposal to his then-girlfriend Kate.
He reportedly said, “Wouldn’t it be fitting if she had the mother’s ring?”
It is believed that his older siblings then gave him their mother’s Cartier watch, given to her by her father for her 21st birthday.
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When did Prince William propose to Kate Middleton?
In October 2010, Prince William asked his nine-year-old girlfriend to marry him.
It is understood he fell to one knee during a trip to Kenya.
The singing is considered priceless today[/caption]