Princess Catherine's first ring from Prince William wasn't her engagement ring and the touching story behind it is so sweet

There's no missing THAT engagement ring, but Princess Catherine's first ring was a far more subdued affair and has the sweetest meaning

Catherine, Princess of Wales visits Dowlais Rugby Club during a 2 day visit to Wales on April 27, 2023 in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. The Prince and Princess of Wales are visiting the country to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Central Beacons Mountain Rescue and to meet members of local communities.
(Image credit: Samir Hussein / Contributor/Getty Images)

Believe it or not, the story behind Princess Catherine's first ring from Prince William may actually be even more romantic than that of her actual engagement ring. Though much is made of that huge sapphire - Princess Catherine's first ring, a promise ring, is a reminder that sometimes the best things come in smaller packages.

Britain's Catherine, Princess of Wales smiles as she leaves having met members of the public during a visit to Birmingham on April 20, 2023.

(Image credit: OLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images)

You may have noticed that Princess Catherine is often spotted without her engagement ring - hell, that thing is hard to miss. Kate Middleton's engagement ring famously once belonged to Princess Diana.

The iconic piece of jewelry is a 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire ring, surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds, made by Royal Family favorite British jeweler Garrard. 

While Princess Catherine's engagement ring is no doubt her most iconic piece of jewelry, it wasn’t the first ring she received from the man she would one day marry. Long before the Prince put a ring on it, there was another ring keeping her ring finger warm.

New graduate Kate Middleton wears a traditional gown to the graduation ceremony at St Andrew's University to collect her degree in St Andrew's on June 23, 2005, England.

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The couple began dating back in 2001 while they both studied at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. It's unclear when, but during that time the Prince gave Kate the beautiful ring.

Princess Catherine's promise ring, according to the engagement ring and fine jewelry experts at UK retailer Steven Stone, is set on a rose gold Victorian band and features two garnets which are Kate’s birthstone for January. The sweet piece also has pearls to represent William’s birthstone for June.

The ring, which Kate wore at her graduation, is believed to have been carefully chosen for what its precious stones represent. This ring, say the experts at Steven Stone, says a lot about their relationship.

"Garnets symbolise perseverance and strength and are traditionally known as commitment stones, which reinforces the meaning behind the ring," they explain. "Pearls were traditionally given as a wedding gift, which could have been a hint that wedding bells were soon to be on the way."

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Order of the Garter service at St George's Chapel on June 13, 2022 in Windsor, England. The Most Noble Order of the Garter is the oldest and most senior Order of Chivalry in Britain, established by King Edward III in 1348.

(Image credit: UK Press Pool/UK Press via Getty Images)

Princess Catherine's first ring appears to be from the Victorian era, from the late 1800's and the experts price it at $2500(£2000) - which is far less than her engagement ring. That particular rock is estimated to be worth a remarkable $490,000(£390,000).

The sentimental story behind Princess Catherine's first ring means that, despite owning a jewelry collection worth more money than one could even imagine, it's probably one of her favorite pieces.

Although she's not seen wearing this particular piece, we're sure that she keeps it safe and sound alongside her more expensive pieces.

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly woman&home's junior news editor and a contributing writer at Bustle, her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica and EVOKE.

Her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.