[imagesource: Tim Graham]
Season four of The Crown is out, chronicling Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer’s first meeting, and the events leading up to their tumultuous marriage, including her choice of engagement ring.
At the same time, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are celebrating 10 years since they announced their engagement.
Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with his mother’s engagement ring, which has been reproduced countless times by brides looking to imitate what has become an iconic piece of jewellery.
The Telegraph notes that when Diana died, her sons were encouraged to choose pieces from her collection to give to their future wives, with Harry choosing the ring.
When William announced his intention to propose, Harry passed it on.
The ring features a 12-carat Sri Lankan sapphire, framed by a halo of 14 white diamonds and set in 18ct gold. It was made by Garrard, Crown Jeweller from 1843 until 2007, and its cluster setting was inspired by a Garrard sapphire and diamond brooch given to Queen Victoria by her husband Albert the day before their wedding. Victoria loved the brooch so much that she wore it on her wedding day as her ‘something blue’.
Everyone was very pleased, including the public, and then things went south for reasons that would only ever apply to the Royal Family.
Reports came in that it wasn’t a one of a kind ring, but selected from shop stock, which means that anyone could walk in and buy the same ring as the future Queen of England.
What constitutes controversy in that family never fails to blow my mind. The British public also needs to calm down.
Besides, Lady Diana didn’t seem bothered.
Garrard’s creative director, Sara Prentice, has a few things to say about it, too:
“Diana’s ring was an important moment in jewellery history, and the fact that its story continues upon the hand of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge is testament to the enduring classicism of the design,” she says.
“The 1735 ring is a timeless design and it has been a continuous best-seller with our clients globally.”
“Sapphire engagement rings have long symbolised love and commitment, and the cluster style, accompanied by a halo of diamonds, has a distinguished history as a favourite among royals, including Queen Victoria. It is lovely to see a new generation appreciating this iconic design, which is such a powerful indication of its longevity.”
Other jewellers agree that the sapphire is a big-seller.
Meghan’s ring was designed by Harry using diamonds from his mother’s jewellery. The Queen’s engagement ring was commissioned by Prince Philip, using diamonds from his mother’s tiara.
Now you know.
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