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Prince Harry pays touching tribute Princess Diana during engagement interview

The couple announced their engagement after 16 months

Yasmin Harisha

Prince Harry and his American fiancée Meghan Markle have appeared for the first time together in a joint TV interview and paid an emotional tribute to his late mother Princess Diana. The couple, who have been together since last year and announced their engagement on the morning of 27 November, looked very much in love as they sat down with the BBC's Mishal Husain for their television appearance, and spoke about Harry's romantic proposal and their whirlwind romance.  

Talking about the stunning engagement ring, Prince Harry turned conversation to his late mother in an incredibly emotional way. "The ring is - is obviously yellow gold because that's her favourite - and the main stone itself I sourced from Botswana and the little diamonds either side are from my mother's jewellery collection to make sure that she's with us on this on this crazy journey together," Harry revealed.

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MORE: Why Meghan and Harry are so perfect for each other

When asked what it meant to have Princess Diana's diamonds on her engagement ring, the American actress, 36, replied, "I think everything about Harry's thoughtfulness is - and the inclusion of that and obviously not being able to meet his mom it's so important to me to - to know that she's a part of this with us. And I think in being able to meet his aunts and - and also like Julia and just different people who were so important to his mom, I'm able to, in some way, know a part of her through them and of course through him. And it's - it's incredibly special. And you know to be able to have this, which sort of links where you come from and Botswana which is important to us and it's - it's perfect."

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Harry was in no doubt as to what his beloved mother would have thought of his future wife. "Oh, they'd be thick as thieves, without question, I think she would be over the moon, jumping up and down, you know so excited for me," he said, emotionally. "But then, as I said, [they] would have probably been best friends - best friends with Meghan."

Harry admitted his day had been slightly bittersweet. "It is days like - days like today when - when I really miss having her around and miss being able to share the happy news. But you know with the ring and with everything else that's going on I'm sure she's …"

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"She's with us," interjected Meghan.

Harry added, "I'm sure she's with us yeah, you know, jumping up and down somewhere else."

PHOTOS: Meghan Markle and Princess Diana's similarities

His comments echoed those previously made by older brother Prince William, who proposed to wife Kate in 2010 using Diana's sapphire engagement ring. Speaking during their first TV interview together, William said of his mother: “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.”

Kate also spoke affectionately about the late Princess, saying: “Obviously I would have loved to have met her. She’s obviously she's an inspirational woman to look up to.”

The exciting news of Harry and Meghan's engagement was revealed in a statement issued by Kensington Palace on Monday. It read: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales is delighted to announce the engagement of Prince Harry to Ms. Meghan Markle. The wedding will take place in Spring 2018. Further details about the wedding day will be announced in due course. His Royal Highness and Ms. Markle became engaged in London earlier this month. Prince Harry has informed Her Majesty the Queen and other close members of his family. Prince Harry has also sought and received the blessing of Ms. Markle’s parents. The couple will live in Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace."

Stay tuned for all the news and details on Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s engagement here!

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