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Prince William gives Kate Middleton his mother’s ring to tie royal knot

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Kate Middleton will drop her nickname, and soon become Princess Catherine.

It’s got a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

Well, not nearly as nice as the ring Prince William gave Kate upon his marriage proposal while vacationing last month in Africa. The ring once belonged to William’s mother, the late Princess Diana, and it’s an 18-carat, oval blue sapphire engulfed in diamonds.

“It’s my mother’s engagement ring. So I thought it was quite nice because obviously she’s not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement of it all – this was my way of keeping her sort of close to it all,” William said.

Kate was sporting the ring with a matching blue dress when she and William sat down for their first on-camera interview since the proposal, and the two seemed to out-sparkle the diamonds.

William looked relaxed and charismatic as any prince should be, and Kate was sitting with the shoulders-back posture of a soon-to-be princess.

“We’re like ducks. So calm on the surface, but little feet going crazy underwater,” William said.

The two 28-year-olds had been dating since they met eight years ago at St. Andrews University, where they lived together with a couple friends. In 2007, the two famously broke up, but within months, were back together again.

“We went through a few stumbling blocks like any other relationship, but we picked ourselves up and carried on,” William said, later adding, “I’m obviously extremely funny and she loves that.” The two chuckled at this.

Kate will be the first commoner since the 1600s to marry a future British monarch. She came from a middle-class family – her father a pilot and her mother a flight attendant. Kate’s parents later started an online party supply company that’s now worth millions. Kate graduated from St. Andrews with a bachelor’s degree in art history, and has a keen interest in fashion, having done some modeling.

Even though the couple had been planning on getting married for at least a year, Kate said she wasn’t expecting William to ask the big question while in Kenya.

“It was a total shock when it came,” Kate said.

“I was really pleased when she said yes,” William said.

William is second in line to his father, Charles, for the British throne. If Kate and William do eventually decide to have children (William said he wants to take it one step at a time), the first child would move ahead of his younger brother Prince Harry to become third in line to the throne.

When asked if it was intimidating for Kate to be following in the footsteps of the “massively iconic” Princess Diana, William said, “There’s no pressure … No one is going to try to fill my mother’s shoes, what she did was fantastic. It’s about making your own future and your own destiny and Kate will do a very good job of that.”

The two are expecting to have their wedding sometime next year, and it promises to be as big as the sapphire wrapped around Kate’s finger.

Here is the couple sitting down for an interview:

Photo by Gridge.

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