• WILLIAM & KATE photo | Kate Middleton, Prince William

Credit: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

Published: Saturday February 01, 2014 12:00 PM EST



During a trip to their beloved Africa, Prince William asked his duchess to marry him. Adding poignancy to the proposal: William gave his longtime love his mother Diana's iconic sapphire and diamond sparkler. "It was my way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today," said William, "and the fact that we're going to spend the rest of our lives together."