princess-diana

Why Princess Diana's £123k engagement ring was an unusual choice

The Princess of Wales chose it for two specific reasons

Bridie Wilkins

Princess Diana's sparkling sapphire engagement ring spawned countless replicas, while her original jewel is now property of the Duchess of Cambridge, after the Duke proposed with it during a holiday to Kenya in 2010. But what did the late Princess of Wales find so appealing about it?

Netflix series The Crown reenacted the day that Diana was taken to select a diamond by her husband-to-be Prince Charles' mother, the Queen, and apparently it was because it reminded her of her mother's engagement ring, and also matched her eyes.

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WATCH: Princess Diana and Prince Charles leave their wedding ceremony

In episode three of season four, the Queen presents Diana with a selection of gems – most of which were family heirlooms – to choose from, after Charles had popped the question.

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Princess Diana's ring is famed for its statement sapphire stone

Controversially, Diana eschewed those that had been owned by the family's ancestors and pointed out the sapphire in question, which was in fact a stock item from London jewellers Garrard & Co's catalogue, and could have been purchased by anyone.

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The Duchess of Cambridge now wears the ring

Upon doing so, the Queen asked: "And you like that one because?"

Diana replied: "Because it reminds me of my mother's engagement ring, and it's the same colour as my eyes."

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The ring is surrounded by a cluster of 14 solitaire diamonds set in 18 carat white gold

Indeed, the 12 carat Sapphire cluster ring was a clear reflection of Diana's blue eyes, and she even went on to wear a coordinating blue suit for her official engagement portrait with the Prince of Wales.

The Queen and Prince Charles may have hoped for Diana to choose an heirloom as her ring, but the one she chose is still just as special.

According to The Court Jeweller, it would have cost approximately £28,500 at the time, which would make it worth £123,000 in line with the Bank of England's inflation calculator today.

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