Prince Harry and Meghan Markle engagement: a chicken dinner and Diana’s diamonds

The 33-year-old prince designed the ring for Markle choosing an African diamond and stones from his mother’s collection

Prince Harry tells the BBC that his late mother Diana would have been 'best friends' with his fiancé Meghan Markle, who showed off her dazzling three-stone engagement ring that memorialises Diana.

 

Prince Harry designed the engagement ring for fiancée Meghan Markle, enlisting royal jewellers and selecting a whopping diamond from Botswana as the centrepiece and diamonds from his late mother, Princess Diana’s jewellery collection.

The couple made their first public appearance since making the announcement in a photocall outside Kensington Palace, appearing relaxed and happy with Markle wearing a snow-white belted coat by Canadian label Line The Label and strappy nude sandals by Aquazzura. The Line The Label website immediately crashed, presumably under the demand for the three quarter length coat.

The yellow gold ring is being described as a “three stone” – a style more associated with the bridge-playing set than princesses in waiting. In fact, Markel’s ring is a stunning solitaire, flanked by smaller diamonds that Harry chose to offset the African diamond, which was set by Cleave and Company, Court Jewellers and Medallists to the Queen.

Prince Harry’s older brother Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with Diana’s enormous sapphire and diamond ring from her engagement to Prince Charles in 1981.

Prince Harry and fiancée Meghan Markle: Photograph: Daniel leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images
Prince Harry and fiancée Meghan Markle: it was “so sweet and natural and very romantic”, said the US actor.  Photograph: Daniel leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Markle (36) said “yes” immediately to Prince Harry after he proposed on one knee while they were cooking a roast chicken dinner during a “cosy night in”, according to their first joint interview on Monday evening.

The Suits actor said she did not even wait for the 33-year-old royal to finish the sentence before she said “yes” – and it was “so sweet and natural and very romantic”.

The couple, who had been in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace in London when the proposal happened, revealed that they first met when they were set up by a female friend – and have tried to see each other every two weeks. Harry added: “I fell in love with Meghan so incredibly quickly... All the stars were aligned - everything was just perfect. It was this beautiful woman just sort of literally tripped and fell into my life - I fell into her life.”

When it came to designing the ring, the prince clearly wanted every element to count. “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.” he said.

Vanity Fair’s jewellery editor and  Telegraph’s jewellery expert Annabel Davidson said it was difficult to value the ring but estimated it at £50,000 (€56,000) at least.

“From the Rappaport diamond pricing index a ring like this would cost at least £50,000 to buy new including the side stones – although there’s no way to know what colour grade the central diamond is, which would hugely affect the price.”

When asked what his mother would think about the engagement, Harry responded with heart: “I think she would be over the moon, jumping up and down, so excited for me, but then, as I said, she would have probably been best friends – best friends with Meghan.”

You know, 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.”