When it comes to the Royal Family, there are four people who steal the limelight more than anyone else. That is, of course, William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan. These four dominate the headlines, whether they’re sharing exciting news or causing huge controversies. Although the two couples are supposedly at war with each other, they’re still siblings at the end of the day. Plus, we recently discovered they apparently have something linking them which goes back almost a decade now.
Down on one knee
Nine years ago, a vacation in Kenya transformed Kate’s life forever. It was then that her boyfriend got down on one knee and popped the question.
So much has changed since that moment, but one thing’s remained constant – her engagement ring.
The perfect couple
Over the last decade, William and Kate have proven why they’re the definition of relationship goals. Aside from the odd moment, their union has been full of love and drama-free, the perfect combination for any couple. Things haven’t always been easy for them, especially given what William stands to gain when his father passes away.
Being second-in-line to the throne has put him and his wife under a microscope, but thankfully, they’ve rarely given the public cause for concern. They know how to set a good example for the monarchy.
A prized piece
There’s plenty that Kate’s become known for since she and William met. Her sense of style is one of them, as is her motherly instinct. However, one thing that stands out the most is her engagement ring. The Duchess wears it everywhere she goes, and it’s understandable why.
Not only is it a symbol of the love she shares with William, but it’s also a stunning piece of jewellery. At £300,000 ($362,000), it’s undoubtedly one of the Royal Family’s pricier pieces, though that’s not why it’s so valuable.
Its previous owner
Although it now resides on her finger and has done for almost a decade, the jewellery obviously didn’t use to belong to Kate. However, it didn’t belong to William, either. His younger brother previously owned the engagement ring before he decided to pass it on.
It featured in their mother’s personal collection, and Harry decided to hold onto it after she passed away. The hope was that he’d be able to give it to the love of his life one day, but things didn’t quite work out that way.
A selfless gift
There was no rule stating that Harry had to give his brother the engagement ring when the time came. However, he wanted to do something nice for his older sibling when his relationship with Kate became serious.
Even though it was the one thing of his mother’s that Harry held on to, he was willing to give it up for someone else’s happiness. It was a selfless act, and one Diana would no doubt have been proud of. After all, that’s precisely the kind of thing she would have done.
Worn on the throne
Supposedly, Harry’s reason for handing the ring over was that he wanted it to be worn by a future queen consort. Apparently, the Duke of Sussex said it was “fitting” for Kate to have it because then it would one day “be sat on the throne of England.”
Harry was probably never going to become king, so William was the only option. That’s according to Paul Burrell, Diana’s former butler. The man revealed the Prince’s intentions in a new Amazon Prime documentary centered around the late Princess of Wales’ life.
A small keepsake
Despite his good intentions, it was no doubt hard for Harry to part ways with the ring. When Diana passed away, and her sons moved in with their dad, they were reportedly allowed to take one keepsake with them. William opted for his mom’s Cartier watch, while Harry went for the engagement ring.
It was something for them to remember Diana by so that she’d always be with them. However, given how relations have been between Harry, William, and Kate recently, we wonder if the Duke of Sussex stands by his decision.
Beaten by his brother
Things might have been a little different if Meghan had come into the picture several years earlier. Had Harry been the first one to pop the question, he would have used the ring himself and left William to find his own.
That’s because the brothers apparently had an agreement between them when it came to this piece of jewellery. The pair reportedly decided that whoever proposed first got the ring, and William obviously won that by a mile. Even though Harry picked the ring, he drew the short straw.
Boys just wanna have fun
Of course, the chances of Harry getting engaged first were always slim, given how the Prince was back in the day. While William was ready to settle down and be serious about life, his brother was a little more interested in being a playboy.
Though he did have a lasting relationship around that time, he cared more about having fun than tying himself down. Obviously, things have changed a lot since then, although it took Harry a few years to finally turn his life around. Meghan undoubtedly helped that happen.
The one that got away
At one point, there was a chance that the ring would end up on the finger of Chelsy Davy. Outside of his relationship with Meghan, Harry’s only significant relationship was with the businesswoman. They met back in 2004 and had a turbulent few years together as boyfriend and girlfriend.
Their on-again, off-again romance lasted until 2010 when things ended for good, although it seems they parted on bad terms. After all, Davy was included on the guestlist at Harry and Meghan’s wedding, so the Prince obviously still cared about her.
Hardly ever home
One of the reasons these two struggled to make things work was down to Harry being away all the time. His military obligations meant that he frequently had to leave Chelsy behind, something that the businesswoman grew tired of.
The fact that Harry seemed to prioritize the army over his girlfriend certainly strained their relationship, and something inevitably had to give. Unfortunately, when his commitments became too much for her to handle, she decided it was best that they go their separate ways. Apparently, the Prince didn’t disagree.
Bothered by the media
While his time in the army might have brought their love to an end, it wasn’t the only thing that stood in the way of their relationship. The media’s interference was also something that Chelsy struggled with, especially given all the negative press that Harry received.
It was when their relationship seemed to be getting serious that the media started becoming a real problem. They spent a lot of time being followed around by the paparazzi, and there were dozens of stories about them in the paper. Chelsy hated that.
Been through it herself
This was something that Kate could undoubtedly sympathize with back then. The media’s constant presence nearly drove her and William apart, resulting in a brief split in 2007. Thankfully, they reunited a few months later, aware that they didn’t want anyone else but one another.
In the years since, Kate has better learned how to deal with the press, not that she’s had much of a choice. If she wanted to be with William, then she had to learn how to live with the press. They were a package deal.
A touch of Diana
Although Harry was down one engagement ring by the time Meghan came along, he soon found the perfect piece of jewelry for her. He proposed with it in November the following year, and the Duchess of Sussex wasn’t disappointed by what she was offered.
The ring featured two gems taken from Diana’s personal collection, as well as a diamond from Botswana. The fact that Harry was still able to incorporate his mom into the jewellery meant a lot to him, especially after he gave away her old engagement ring.
Keeping it in the family
That’s not the only piece of Diana’s jewellery that Meghan’s been sporting since Harry came along. On her wedding day, the Duchess was seen driving to her reception with an aquamarine ring on her finger.
This was the same piece of jewellery that Diana wore on several occasions, including to an auction of her own clothes mere weeks before she passed away. Meghan has also been seen in the Princess of Wales’ golden butterfly earrings, her diamond bracelet, and her golden cuff. Clearly, the woman has excellent taste.
Including Diana in his life is incredibly important to Harry now that his mom isn’t around. The two shared an incredibly close connection when she was alive, and that’s something the Duke wants to honor. Despite all the hardships she faced in the Royal Family, the Princess of Wales always found solace in her kids.
They were the things that made marrying Charles worthwhile, even after all the heartbreak he put her through. She would be honored to know that her sons are still putting her first after all this time.
It’s taken its toll
To this day, there’s a part of Harry that still hasn’t come to terms with losing his mom. The boy was only 12 at the time of her passing, so his age just made him even more vulnerable to everything. It took a significant toll on his mental health, something that he occasionally struggles with today.
Thankfully, the Duke has received a lot of help for his troubles, and that’s prompted him to become an activist for mental health awareness. He knows how debilitating it can be suffering in silence.
Someone to blame
In searching for someone to blame for what happened, Harry often looks to the media. If they hadn’t been so obsessed with his mom, the crash in Paris might never have happened. The press went wild for Diana every time she left the house, and their fixation may well have cost the Princess of Wales her life.
That’s why Harry is so hesitant to embrace the media sometimes, even going so far as to lash out at a photographer when he was younger. He holds them responsible for so much.
His rebellious years
Diana’s untimely passing is part of the reason why Harry acted so rebelliously when he was younger. From experimenting with narcotics to partying into the night, the Duke was wild in his teenage years through to his early 20’s. While everyone’s entitled to a bit of fun – even those in the Royal Family – Harry’s antics were often controversial.
His unclothed partying in Vegas drew particular criticism, as did his choice of an ill-informed fancy dress outfit. Luckily, despite practically dragging the monarchy through the mud, they emerged relatively unscathed.
The benefit of the doubt
Despite being one of the most controversial royals in the monarchy, Harry is still one of the most loved members of the family. Part of that is down to the public appreciating that he made mistakes and lived a life that many of them could relate to.
However, it’s also because they were willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. After losing his mom at 12 years old, he was bound to go a little off the rails. That’s why they overlooked some of his bigger blunders.
Older and wiser
Obviously, Harry isn’t proud of everything he did when he was younger. However, he’s more than made up for his past mistakes by growing into a respectable member of the Royal Family.
He’s finally taking his role in the monarchy seriously, as evidenced by all the work he’s done supporting charities and building a life with his wife. He might never have the responsibility of being king to worry about, but that doesn’t mean he can just rest on his laurels. Everyone in that family has to do their bit.
Which ring is better?
Now the world knows that Kate’s engagement ring was originally meant for Meghan, we can’t help but wonder what the Duchess of Sussex makes of everything. Does she prefer the jewelry that Harry designed for her, or does she wish she could wear Diana’s expensive ring?
Given she’s been sporting the former for a few years, we’d probably say she’s happy with what she has. After all, she must have developed an attachment to it by now. Plus, the fact it was specially-designed makes it more meaningful than a hand-me-down.