Princess Diana's Unique Jewelry Collection That Made Her A Part Of Her Sons Life
Princess Diana was known for defying tradition - and maybe, that’s one of the things that ended up making her the “people’s princess.” The royal didn’t care much for rules and always stood up for what she thought was right. And, honestly, this kind of behavior was demonstrated from the very beginning - starting with her engagement ring. Her ring strayed from what British royal family had done for years … confused? Ahead, we’ve explained the unique origin story of Princess Diana’s engagement ring, and how exactly it broke away from royal tradition.
The ring was ordered from a catalog
When it comes to most engagement rings, they’re usually, according to tradition, custom-made. However, Princess Diana took the simpler route. Good Housekeeping reported that the princesses now legendary engagement ring, was actually purchased from a catalog. Yup. That jaw-dropping, beautiful 12-carat sapphire stone, surrounded by 14 diamonds, wasn’t specially made for Diana. And this is something that bothered a lot of people since it made the ring less rare and more accessible.
The Princess of Wales ended up choosing the sapphire-and-diamond stunning piece from a Garrard jewelry collection catalog. On top of picking the ring from a catalog and not custom-making it, Princess Diana also chose the ring herself! For a woman that got engaged in the 1980s, that’s a super modern and empowering move. So, what was the cost of the ring? Reportedly, the sapphire beauty ended up costing Prince Charles $37,000.
The ring was inspired by Queen Victoria
“I wore a white satin dress, with a deep flounce of Honiton lace, an imitation of an old design. My jewels were my Turkish diamond necklace & earrings & dear Albert's beautiful sapphire brooch.” Queen Victoria’s Influence on the Royal Wedding Gown: https://t.co/V9duYEWO5I pic.twitter.com/v5H3vajYuz— ProQuest (@ProQuest) May 18, 2018
Garrard, the crown jeweler, explained the inspiration behind the ring. In fact, according to Reader’s Digest, it was actually inspired by another member of the royal family - Queen Victoria. In 1840, Queen Victoria received a sapphire-and-diamond cluster brooch from Prince Albert as a wedding present - and this is where the inspiration came from.
The brooch became her “something blue” on her wedding day and in her will, Queen Victoria stated that the brooch would become a Crown heirloom, which is why Queen Elizabeth II has been seen wearing the brooch from time to time on special occasions such as Prince William’s christening and meeting President John F. Kennedy.
Why sapphire is significant
From first glance, sapphires are simply mesmerizing. The color is eye-catching, but the stone holds a lot more meaning to it than just a pretty color. It has been said that the gem holds mythical powers. Interesting, right? These mythical powers supposedly include deepening loyalty and devotion, bringing financial prosperity, and stability too.
Prince Harry gave the sapphire ring away to Prince William
Prince William and Prince Harry went to Kensington Palace to pick out a “keepsake” after Princess Diana’s untimely death in 1997, according to Reader’s Digest. They were 15 and 12 years old at the time. Prince William selected his mother’s Cartier watch while Prince Harry chose Princess Diana’s engagement ring.
According to Reader’s Digest, after the princess tragically passed away in a car accident in 1997, Prince William and Prince Harry were sent to Kensington Palace in order to pick out a “keepsake”. At the time, the two princes were 15 and 12 years old. Prince Harry ended up picking his mother’s engagement ring, whilst Prince William selected Diana’s Cartier watch. “They had an agreement that whoever got engaged first would have Diana’s ring,” a source said.
For that reason, Harry had to hand over the ring to his older brother. Before proposing to Middleton, Prince William had to modify the ring, but only slightly. To make the ring tighter on Kate’s finger, platinum beads were added to the inside. Remember the $37,000 Charles paid for it way back when? Well, today, the ring is reportedly valued at a whopping $500,000.
Prince Harry still made his mother a part of his engagement
Don’t think that Prince Harry was left out though. When proposing to Meghan Markle in 2017, the prince found a way to make his late mother a part of their engagement as well. In their first interview back in 2017, Prince Harry and Meghan sat down with the BBC and discussed their relationship, along with their engagement. Markle gushed to the interviewer,
“It was so sweet and natural and very romantic. He got on one knee.” Meghan remembered that she said yes to Harry right away. “I could barely let you finish proposing,” The duchess told Prince Harry in the interview.
“The ring is obviously yellow gold because that’s [Meghan’s] favorite and the main stone itself I sourced from Botswana and the little diamonds on either side are from [Princess Diana’s] jewelry collection, to make sure that she’s with us on this crazy journey together,” Prince Harry said. Markle added, “It’s beautiful, and he designed it. It’s incredible.”
We’ll recall that back when he proposed to Diana, Prince Charles spent $37,000 on the princesses’ engagement ring. But, when it comes to the cost of Markle’s ring it’s a lot more difficult to determine because, “having diamonds from the royal collection that Princess Diana wore makes the ring priceless,” Michael Fried, CEO of Diamond Pro told Money.
Although she might’ve caused some controversy back then, we’re glad that Princess Diana defied the rules and chose the sapphire ring that has become simply iconic in today’s world. Catalog or not, the piece holds so much more value to it because of its meaning. Which princesses ring is your favorite? Comment below! And stay tuned for other updates on your favorite royal characters.