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Ignoring for a moment the fact that I despise the colour blue and that I myself am up to version number three of my own engagement ring, being presented with this particular ring would have made me think twice about accepting his proposal.

You don't have to be supersticious to question if this ring might be a bad omen.

I certainly appreciate the sentiment behind the gesture.  But Charles and Diana's marriage isn't one that I would aspire to replicate and this symbol of their broken promises would serve as a daily reminder that fairytales don't always have a happy ending.
 | Wednesday, 17 Nov 2010

Ring a tribute to Prince Willam's late mother

Prince William gave fiancee Kate Middleton his late mother Princess Diana's engagement ring because he didn't want her to miss out on his special day.

The future British king announced his engagement to his long-term girlfriend yesterday after proposing last month and says he decided to give Kate the band his father Prince Charles gave the late Diana as his way of paying tribute to her.

When asked about the oval blue 18-carat sapphire and diamond ring, William said: "It was my way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today."

Diana - who was divorced from Charles - died in 1997 in a Paris car crash and William and his brother Prince Harry often pay tribute to her.

William and his new fiancee did a photo call at St James' Palace in London, where they showed off the stunning ring and Kate spoke about joining Britain's Royal Family.

She said: "It's quite a daunting prospect but hopefully I'll take it in my stride.

William is a great teacher."