Kate Middleton, 39, and Prince William, 38, announced their engagement in November 2010, before getting married in April the next year. Kate and William had their engagement photos taken by Mario Testino, well-known for having photographed Diana.
For her engagement photo shoot with William, shot by Mario and released in December 2010, Kate wore a long-sleeved white mid-length dress from High Street store Reiss.
On her finger was the engagement ring William had proposed with a month earlier, in October, while the couple were on safari in Kenya.
The ring, which Kate still wears today, is an oval sapphire surrounded by diamonds.
Commenting on the ring, Tobias Kormind, Managing Director of Europe’s largest online diamond jeweller, 77 Diamonds, said: “It is a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire, circled with 14 diamonds set on a white gold band.”
Tobias from 77 Diamonds gave more analysis on the Duchess of Cambridge’s ring, saying: “Kate Middleton’s engagement ring is quite possibly the most famous engagement ring of our generation and it is brimming with the history of two women who remain style icons the world over.”
In 1981, shortly after her engagement to Prince Charles, Princess Diana chose the sapphire ring herself from Garrard, the Crown Jeweller at the time.
Tobias explained: “Her [Diana’s] decision was unusual among royal circles in the sense that it wasn’t a bespoke commission created especially for her.
“When Diana passed away, Harry and William chose momentos from their mother and Harry chose this engagement ring and William chose a Cartier watch, which his mother had used to teach him to read the time, and which she had received from her own father for her 21st birthday.”
However, while William and Kate were dating, Harry decided to give his mother’s ring to his brother.
Although the ring has become famously connected to both Diana and Kate, the style was first seen on someone else: Queen Victoria.
“The style of the ring has a historic link to another very romantic jewel gifted by Prince William’s ancestor Prince Albert to his beloved,” Tobias explained.
“In 1840, Prince Albert commissioned Garrard to create a sapphire and diamond brooch for his future wife Victoria.”
Tobias added: “She [Queen Victoria] loved it so much that she wore it on her wedding day as her something blue on the front of her dress and would continue to wear it until her husband’s death in 1861.”
When William gave the ring Kate, it was his way of including his late mother in their wedding celebrations.
“William later explained that by gifting this ring to Kate, it would be his way of making sure his mother was part of the excitement of their engagement and the fact that he and Kate would be spending the rest of their lives together,” Tobias said.
He added: “Nowadays, Kate is always seen wearing this now legendary and precious ring.”