How Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s engagement paid tribute to Diana

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Amy Swales
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The newly engaged couple say the gestures mean Diana, Princess of Wales, is “with us on this crazy journey”.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement may not have been the biggest of surprises for anyone with half an eye on the news over the last few days, but the official confirmation that the couple are to marry next year still caused excitement the world over.

And among the fashion speculation and soundbites from neighbours, it’s become clear how the pair have made sure the prince’s late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, is a part of the news – with both the ring and where they chose to have their official engagement photocall carrying significance.

The announcement on Monday (27 November) said details about Prince Harry and Markle’s wedding day would be unveiled “in due course”, but the pair have already given an interview in which the royal explained the importance of the yellow-gold ring’s design.

The ring includes two diamonds from Prince Harry’s late mother Diana’s collection

Speaking to the BBC’s Mishal Husain, Prince Harry said the central diamond was from Botswana, a place important to the couple as it’s where they first got to know each other, and the two smaller diamonds were from his late mother’s personal collection.

The ring was made by Cleave and Company, Court Jewellers and Medallists to Her Majesty The Queen.

Harry said: “The ring is yellow gold because that’s her favourite, and the main stone itself I sourced from Botswana and the little diamonds either side are from my mother’s jewellery collection to make sure that she’s with us on this, on this crazy journey together.”

Suits star Markle added: “It’s incredible […] I think everything about Harry’s thoughtfulness and the inclusion of that and, obviously not being able to meet his mom, it’s so important to me to, to know that she’s a part of this with us.”

She went on to explain that she thought it was “special” to feel connected in some way to Diana: “I think in being able to meet […] different people who were so important to his mom, I’m able to, in some way, know a part of her through them and of course through him. It’s incredibly special.

“And you know to be able to have this [the ring] which sort of links where you come from and Botswana which is important to us. It’s perfect.”

Additionally, the pair’s photocall confirming the news of their engagement took place in the Sunken Garden at Kensington Palace, reportedly one of Princess Diana’s favourite parts of the grounds. The Sunken Garden now houses the White Garden, created earlier this year to mark the 20th anniversary of her death.

In the BBC interview, Prince Harry went on to say that he was sure his mother would have approved of Markle.

“They would be thick as thieves, without question,” he told Husain. “I think she would be over the moon, jumping up and down, you know, so excited for me. But then, as I said, she would have probably been best friends, best friends with Meghan.

“It is days like today I really miss having her around and miss being able to share the happy news. But, you know, with the ring and with everything else that’s going on, I’m sure she’s with us yeah, jumping up and down somewhere else.”

The couple announced their engagement this week after 16 months of dating, the start of which saw them have a “good five, six months of privacy” according to Markle. They made their first public appearance as a couple in September at the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games.

The US actor has confirmed she will be giving up acting and focusing further on good causes, already being involved in charity work, telling the BBC: “I don’t see it as giving anything up, I just see it as a change. It’s a new chapter.”

Images: Rex Features