The unique story behind Meghan Markle's engagement ring

Elise Solé
People are buzzing about Meghan Markle’s engagement ring. (Photo: Getty Images)

As Prince Harry’s fiancée, Meghan Markle will soon be a royal, but for now, she’s like any other engaged woman with a gorgeous diamond ring.

On Monday, the couple announced their engagement on Twitter and then shared further detail through a live press conference and a joint interview with the BBC, during which the couple revealed their excitement.

When asked by a journalist if the proposal was romantic, Harry responded, “Of course it was” and remarked that he knew Markle was The One “the very first time we met.” The couple later shared that Harry got down on one knee during a cozy night at home while cooking chicken.

Prince Harry gave Meghan Markle a stunning engagement ring. (Photo: Getty Images)

Meanwhile, social media went nuts over Markle’s ring — a cushion-cut diamond from Botswana, where the couple visited in August and camped out under the stars. The ring is flanked by smaller diamonds from the personal collection of Harry’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.

Harry told the BBC that he used his mother’s diamonds “to make sure that she’s with us on this crazy journey together.”

Markle added during the interview, “I think everything about Harry’s thoughtfulness and the inclusion of [Diana’s stones] and, obviously, not being able to meet his mom — it’s so important to me to know that she’s a part of this with us. … It’s incredibly special to be able to have this, which sort of links where [Harry comes] from and Botswana, which is important to us. It’s perfect.”

“It’s difficult to gauge the true value of the ring — it’s been estimated at 2.5 carats — because the palace is private about its diamond collection,” royal expert Kelly Lynch, managing editor of the entertainment site Dailybreak, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “We don’t know when the diamonds were given to Diana or whether they came from earrings or a bracelet.”

William proposed to Kate Middleton with a sapphire-and-diamond ring that once belonged to his late mom, Diana, Princess of Wales. (Photo: Getty Images)

We do know the ring is the creation of London-based Cleave and Company. “The royals don’t have an official jeweler; however, companies like Cleave and the House of Garrard were given a warrant by the queen and the prince of Wales, which allows them to advertise their royal business,” she says.

And Lynch dismisses rumors that Markle was given a diamond per American tradition. “Lots of royal women wore diamond engagement rings, such as the queen, Sophie Wessex (the wife of Prince Edward), and Zara Phillips (the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip).”

Harry’s attention to detail is characteristic of royal men, who historically have personalized their engagements rings. For example, according to Lynch, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, gave Sarah Ferguson an oval ruby from Garrard to match the color of her red hair, and Queen Elizabeth’s sister, Princess Margaret, received a ruby because her middle name was Rose.

And here’s a fun fact: Markle’s ring may have been Harry’s second choice. “Diana’s engagement ring was originally given to Harry after she died,” says Lynch. “However, when William wanted to propose to Kate, Harry gave it to him.”

Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York received a ruby sparkler from Prince Andrew, Duke of York. (Photo: Getty Images)

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