Prince William gave Kate Middleton Princess Diana’s engagement ring when he proposed in 2010. However, many fans of the future King and Queen of England may not realize that the beautiful 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire ring is controversial among the royal family.
According to a Daily Mail report, the reason Princess Diana’s engagement ring initially caused controversy is that it was something a commoner could buy. The $60,000 piece of jewelry was no exclusive to the princess. Because the ring wasn’t bespoke and a stoke item, anybody, even a commoner, who had $60,000 could purchase the white gold ring, which featured 14 solitaire diamonds in addition to the large sapphire center stone. Crown jeweler Garrard put the ring in his catalog for anybody to buy, which caused the Royals to look down upon the ring, which Princess Diana picked out herself.
The engagement ring was inspired by a brooch, which Prince Albert gave to Queen Victoria in 1840. She wore the brooch at her wedding as her “something blue.”
Marie Claire reported that Princess Diana did not care about the ring’s controversy and she loved her engagement ring. In fact, she continued to wear the beautiful piece of jewelry even after her 1996 divorce from Prince Charles. After her divorce, Princess Diana also commissioned an emerald cut, aquamarine, and diamond ring to match a bracelet Prince Charles had given her earlier in their marriage, and Meghan Markle wore that ring on her wedding day to Prince Harry when she donned her second wedding gown.
According to Grant Mobley, a gemologist and Director at Pluczenik, “A beautiful ring that Princess Diana was seen wearing on her ring finger after her divorce from Prince Charles was an emerald cut, aquamarine and diamond ring. The Princess was very fond of a pearl and diamond bracelet featuring a large emerald cut aquamarine that she was given in her early years as a princess and, after her divorce, she commissioned this matching ring to be made. Diana’s taste in jewelry was impeccable and the fact that she commissioned this ring to be made is a clear testament to her taste.”
Diana reportedly chose jewelry that reminded her of special moments, and according to some reports, Diana chose her engagement ring because it reminded her of her mother’s engagement ring.
Prince William used his mother’s ring to propose to Kate Middleton. He said, “It’s my mother’s engagement ring, and it’s very special to me, as Kate is very special to me now as well. It was only right the two were put together. It was my way of making sure mother didn’t miss out on today and the excitement.”
Upon receiving the piece of jewelry, Middleton said, “It’s beautiful – I hope I look after it! It’s very special.”