London, UK (BBN) – There was something old and something new in the ring Meghan Markle, the American actress, wore when she and Prince Harry announced their engagement on Monday.
The ring, which the prince himself designed, bore three glittering diamonds: a central stone from Botswana and two others from the collection of the prince’s mother, Princess Diana, who died in 1997, the couple said in a joint interview shared on social media on Monday, reports The New York Times.
“It’s incredibly special to be able to have this, which sort of links where you come from and Botswana, which is important to us, and it’s perfect,” Ms. Markle said to Prince Harry during the interview. The ring is yellow gold, Ms. Markle’s favorite, Prince Harry said.
The couple dated for about a year and a half before becoming engaged this month. Just weeks into their relationship, Prince Harry invited Ms. Markle on a five-day trip to Botswana.
“Then we were really by ourselves, which was crucial to me,” he said during the interview.
The prince, 33, and Ms. Markle, 36, appeared for photographers at Kensington Palace’s Sunken Garden on Monday shortly after announcing the engagement.
The ring was made by Cleave and Company, official jewelers to Queen Elizabeth II. The company’s director said in a statement that it was “greatly honored to have been of service.”
The couple, who were introduced by a mutual friend, said in the interview that they knew little about each other before meeting. As an American, Ms. Markle said she wasn’t very familiar with British royalty, and Prince Harry had never watched “Suits,” the legal drama on which Ms. Markle portrays the character Rachel Zane.
Prince Harry and Ms. Markle, whose father is white and whose mother is black, had been subjected to intense and sometimes racially charged scrutiny by the British news media, which avidly covers the royal family.
“We were totally unprepared,” Prince Harry said of the scrutiny they faced as a couple, noting that they had tried to steel themselves for what would come.
In an unusual statement last year, the prince accused the news media of crossing a line and said he was worried about Ms. Markle’s safety. His mother, Diana, was killed in Paris two decades ago in a car crash while being pursued by paparazzi.
Prince Harry proposed at home one night this month as the couple prepared dinner together, they said in the interview.
“She didn’t let me finish. She said: ‘Can I say yes? Can I say yes?’” Prince Harry said. “Then there was hugs and I had the ring in my finger and I said, ‘Can I give you the ring?’ And she said, ‘Oh, yes, the ring!’”
The wedding is planned for the spring.