The engagement ring Kate, Duchess of Cambridge now wears with immense pride first belonged to the late mother-in-law she never met, Princess Diana. Then Lady Diana Spencer debuted the ring to much royal fanfare when her engagement to Prince Charles was announced in 1981. After Charles and Diana’s marriage ended in divorce in 1996, and the Princess died in a car crash in 1997, the ring had been hidden from view until it emerged again in 2010 on the hand of a brand new owner.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s engagement ring is perhaps one of the most iconic royal rings ever, and it was a creation of then-royal jeweller, Garrard & Co.
Leroy Dawkins, Editor, Fashion Stylist and Blogger, told Express.co.uk of the engagement ring’s provenance: “Diana’s iconic engagement ring from Charles is known to the eye of almost everyone.
“Diana was fortunate to choose her own ring and decided on the iconic sapphire with 14 round solitaire diamonds. She chose the ring from jeweller Garrard from its catalogue, which raised eyebrows. Reportedly, the Royal Family was not too pleased with this choice as it would mean commoners could buy the same ring, which was priced at £47,000 in 1981.”
Jewellery experts estimated that Kate’s stunning engagement ring could be worth between £300,000 and £400,000, although to William and Kate, the gem is undoubtedly priceless.
While its association with Princess Diana alone makes it a ring shrouded in history, its royal provenance actually goes back centuries.
Prince Albert, the beloved consort of Queen Victoria, commissioned a blue sapphire and diamond brooch from Garrard as a present for his bride-to-be in 1840.
Sara Prentice, Garrard’s creative director, told Vogue: “She found she loved it so much that she decided to wear it on her wedding day as her something blue on the front of her dress.”
After her wedding, Queen Victoria wore the brooch throughout her lifetime and was known to be incredibly fond of it.
“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 and the fact that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together.”
In the years since got engaged, Kate has rarely been pictured without her beloved sapphire ring.
Now she regularly pairs it with her Welsh gold wedding band, which she received in 2011, and a simple diamond eternity band which was thought to have debuted after the birth of Kate and William’s first child, Prince George.
Fittingly for Kate, when she is Queen Consort, she will be able to wear the sapphire brooch and her engagement ring together.