It’s been 11 years since Kate Middleton and Prince William tied the knot in Westminster Abbey, London, England. The wedding had hundreds of guests, and as the couple went through the streets of London in a carriage after the ceremony, thousands of people stood by, waiving and congratulating them.
The wedding of Kate and William was unique in many ways. Not only was it the future King who tied the knot, but also the first son of Diana to get married. He proposed with Diana’s former engagement ring while the couple was on vacation in Kenya.
Kate & Prince William’s love story – how did they meet?
The two started dating, and reportedly, it all began at a student fashion show. Kate caught William’s eye with a sheer outfit, which cost about $40, as reported by Insider.
Soon, they were deeply in love. And even though the outfit Kate wore was extraordinary for him, William explained that everything changed as soon as they started hanging out.
“We were friends for over a year first and it just sort of blossomed from then on,” William told The Telegraph. “We just spent more time with each other and had a good giggle, and realized we shared the same interests.”
William and Kate spent a lot of time together, getting to know each other at university. In 2005 both of them graduated. Kate Middleton earned a degree in art history and William in geography.
By this point, things started to get serious. William and Kate both had publicly announced that they were dating, and by the time they graduated, they had already lived together for quite some time.
Following their breakup, things got better between Kate and William. They became a loving couple and very popular among the public. And in 2010, the couple took the next step.
During a holiday in Kenya, William proposed.
Romantic proposal in Kenya
“We had a little private time away together with some friends and I just decided that it was the right time really. We had been talking about marriage for a while so it wasn’t a massively big surprise. I took her up somewhere nice in Kenya and I proposed,” William recalled.
He added, “I’d been planning it for a while but as every guy out there will know it takes a certain amount of motivation to get yourself going.”
“So I was planning it and then it just felt really right out in Africa. It was beautiful at the time. I just … I had done a little bit of planning to show my romantic side.”
“It was very romantic, Kate said, laughing. “There’s a true romantic in there.”
She didn’t see it coming since they were out with friends. Beforehand, Kate Middleton had thought of the idea that William maybe was going to propose. But it came as a “total shock.”
William had carried the ring around in a bag for three weeks and never let it go.
Kate Middleton engagement ring – all you need to know
“Everywhere I went I was keeping hold of it because I knew this thing, if it disappeared I would be in a lot of trouble and because I’d planned it, it went fine,” he said. “You hear a lot of horror stories about proposing and things going horribly wrong – it went really, really well and I was really pleased she said yes.”
Of course, the ring was exceptional and very proper for a future Queen Consort. The ring belonged to his mother, Princess Diana.
“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 – this was my way of keeping her sort of close to it all.”
“I’m not an expert on [rings] at all. I’ve been reliably informed it’s a sapphire with some diamonds. I’m sure everyone recognizes it from previous times.”
Princess Diana’s engagement ring looked stunning on Kate Middleton. The central feature is faceted oval Ceylon sapphire, and according to The Court Jeweller, estimates of the sapphire’s carat size range from 9 to 12 carats. Around it is 14 round diamonds, with a ring made of white gold.
Diana wore it before Kate Middleton
Diana received the ring when Prince Charles proposed to her in 1981. She got to choose as Charles presented a wide selection of rings. According to The Court Jeweler, it cost around $35,000.
However, as it’s Diana’s old ring, and now Kate Middleton’s, it’s considered to be worth more than $500,000.
As Vogue reports, the design was inspired by a massive sapphire brooch, a gift to Queen Victoria from Prince Albert. Victoria wore the brooch at their wedding. Today, Queen Elizabeth owns the brooch that inspired Kate’s ring.
“It was said to be a strong influence on Prince Charles when he came to Garrard to purchase a ring for Lady Diana,” Garrard creative director Sara Prentice told Vogue.
“He actually ended up setting a sapphire cluster ring for her, which was later given by Prince William to the Duchess of Cambridge on their engagement. I would imagine growing up being surrounded by your mother and your grandmother [with] such beautiful, incredible jewelry…it would stick with you.”
So why did Prince William get the engagement ring and not Prince Harry? When Diana passed away in 1997, the two brother’s got to choose some objects from their mother, and William chose the ring, according to reports.
“After Diana died, the boys both chose a keepsake from Kensington Palace when they moved to Charles’ rooms in St James’s Palace,” a source reportedly told the Daily Star.