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

Prince Harry actually inherited Princess Diana's iconic engagement ring but offered it to Prince William to use to propose to Kate Middleton.

  • While it's common knowledge among royal fans that Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton (opens in new tab) with his late mother, Princess Diana's, engagement right, it might surprise some to learn that Will wasn't the person who inherited the iconic ring.
  • Prince Harry actually inherited Diana's engagement ring when she died in 1997, but "selflessly" offered it to his brother for his engagement to Kate, Diana's former butler Paul Burrell (opens in new tab) explains in a new documentary.
  • "Harry said to him: 'Wouldn’t it be fitting if she had mummy’s ring?'" Burrell says in the documentary.

When Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton (opens in new tab), he did so with a truly iconic piece of royal jewelry: The same sapphire engagement ring (opens in new tab) that had belonged to his late mother, Princess Diana (opens in new tab). This is common knowledge among royal fans. What's less common knowledge? Apparently, Diana's ring (opens in new tab) wasn't actually Will's to give.

According to a new report from The Sun (opens in new tab), Will's younger brother, Prince Harry (opens in new tab), was actually the person who inherited the iconic ring. Apparently, when Diana died in 1997 (opens in new tab), Harry was allowed to select his favorite piece from their mom's jewelry collection—and he selected the sapphire engagement ring.

In the Amazon Prime documentary The Diana Story (opens in new tab), Diana's former butler Paul Burrell explained that even though the ring officially belonged to Harry, the young royal selflessly offered it to Will when he was preparing to propose to Kate—even though it meant he wouldn't be able to give the ring to his own future wife, Meghan Markle.

"Harry said to him: 'Wouldn’t it be fitting if she had mummy’s ring?'" Burrell explains in the documentary. "Then one day that ring will be sat on the throne of England. Harry gave up his precious treasure. His one thing he kept from his mother, he gave to his brother. That’s selfless, kind and exactly who Diana was."

No, you're crying.

Kayleigh Roberts
Weekend Editor

Kayleigh Roberts is a freelance writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her byline has appeared in Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, The Atlantic, Allure, Entertainment Weekly, MTV, Bustle, Refinery29, Girls’ Life Magazine, Just Jared, and Tiger Beat, among other publications. She's a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.