Meghan Markle’s engagement ring is one-of-a-kind.
Her now-husband Prince Harry designed the three-stone ring with the help of Cleave & Company (the late Queen Elizabeth’s regular jeweler) in 2017. The custom piece has plenty of special meaning too: It features a large cushion-cut center diamond sourced from Botswana — where Meghan and Harry spent time together early on in their relationship — as well as two side stones from the late Princess Diana’s jewelry collection.
“It’s beautiful, and he designed it, it’s incredible,” the Duchess of Sussex said during the couple’s engagement interview in November 2017.
Since getting engaged over five years ago, Meghan has given the ring a few upgrades as well. In 2019, the Duchess replaced the ring’s original gold band with a thin micro-pavé band.
Keep reading for everything to know about Meghan Markle’s engagement ring, from its backstory to its finer details.
Meghan Markle first debuted her engagement ring at Kensington Palace
The public got their first look at the ring on Nov. 27, 2017, when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle formally announced their engagement at Kensington Palace and posed for photos.
Prince Harry had proposed to Meghan on the palace grounds just a few weeks prior. He revealed in the pair’s 2022 Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan that he set up “15 electric candles” and roses to pop the question.
“He’s down on one knee and I was like, ‘Yes!’ We were so joyful and excited,” Meghan added. “I was like, ‘Ah, we’re doing this!’ ”
Prince Harry designed the ring himself
Rather than choosing one of the royal family’s rings to bestow upon his bride, Prince Harry designed the bespoke three-stone piece with the help of Cleave & Company, the late Queen Elizabeth’s regular jeweler.
According to the 2020 biography Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan, per the Daily Mail, Harry reportedly began shopping for an engagement ring as early as May 2017. Authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand said that he “did a little secret diamond scouting” for a conflict-free stone while visiting Botswana in May 2017 as a patron of Rhino Conservation Botswana.
Meghan Markle’s engagement ring features three diamonds
Meghan’s engagement ring boasts three stones, a style known as a trilogy ring. Three-stone rings typically represent a couple’s past, present and future, with the largest stone symbolizing the present and the importance of being in the moment together.
The center stone has a special meaning
The cushion-cut center diamond of Meghan’s engagement ring is estimated to be roughly three carats and was sourced from Botswana — a country that is very important to Prince Harry and where the couple took their first vacation together.
“It was I think about three, maybe four weeks [after our first date] that I managed to persuade her to come and join me in Botswana,” Prince Harry revealed during their engagement interview in 2017. “And we camped out with each other under the stars … she came and joined me for five days out there, which was absolutely fantastic.”
The side stones are from Princess Diana’s personal jewelry collection
Prince Harry followed in his big brother’s footsteps by giving his bride-to-be a ring that had a link to his late mother, Princess Diana. While Kate Middleton received Diana’s actual engagement ring, Meghan’s features two round diamonds from the late royal’s personal jewelry collection.
“It’s so important to me to know that she’s a part of this with us,” Meghan said of Harry’s gesture in the couple’s engagement interview. “It’s incredibly special to be able to have this, which sort of links where [Harry comes] from and Botswana, which is important to us, it’s perfect.”
The Buckingham Palace shop once sold a replica of Meghan Markle’s engagement ring
The Buckingham Palace shop put a replica of the stunning piece up for grabs in September 2018. Dubbed the “Buckingham Palace Statement Ring,” it featured three faux stones in the same arrangement as Meghan’s. Rather than a yellow gold band, however, it had an adjustable silver one. While it’s no longer available to purchase, shoppers got it for a steal: It was priced at just under $40.
Meghan Markle’s wedding band was a gift from Queen Elizabeth
On Meghan and Prince Harry’s wedding day on May 19, 2018, Harry presented his bride with a pure Welsh gold wedding band from Cleave & Company. The piece was a gift from Queen Elizabeth herself and has deep roots for the royals: Welsh gold has been used for royal wedding bands as early as 1923 when the Queen Mother chose the material for her own wedding ring.
Meghan Markle debuted a new eternity ring at Trooping the Colour in 2019
In 2019, Meghan’s ring collection expanded even further with the addition of a gorgeous eternity ring that PEOPLE confirmed was gifted to her by Prince Harry for the couple’s one-year anniversary.
Meghan Markle’s engagement ring underwent a secret upgrade
Eagle-eyed onlookers noticed that Meghan’s yellow gold engagement ring band, which Harry said he had chosen because it was his bride’s favorite, had been replaced with a thin micro-pavé band at 2019’s Trooping the Colour ceremony.
Meghan Markle removes the ring on occasion for a more understated look
A source confirmed to PEOPLE in September 2019 that Meghan had left her engagement ring and her eternity ring behind for her and Harry’s royal tour of South Africa in order to be more low-key during meet and greets. Instead, she opted to wear only her Welsh gold wedding ring and a Jennifer Meyer turquoise marquise ring.