It has been seven years since Prince William popped the question to the very stunning Kate Middleton; now the Duchess of Cambridge. But even after two adorable kids (and the third one on its way), the world continues to remain fascinated with her sapphire engagement ring.
We all know it is extremely special, but what makes this ring a coveted possession in the royal family? These interesting facts reveal the truth…
The Gem that Enamored the Royals
Sapphires are synonymous to royalty, and this never-ending affair with the scintillating gem is believed to have started way back in the year 1840. This is when Prince Albert presented Queen Victoria, his wife-to-be, with a brooch embellished with a stunning blue sapphire surrounded by a halo of glittering diamonds. This much-adored piece of jewelry was then passed on as a Crown heirloom to her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II.
The Queen is equally charmed by the bauble and has often been photographed wearing the same. It is said that Prince Charles’ decision to present Lady Diana with the ring, that currently belongs to Kate Middleton, may have been inspired from the brooch he frequently saw his mother wear.
A Captivating Ring
It is believed that Prince Charles visited a brand of luxury jewelry manufacturer to handpick some engagement rings for Lady Diana. One of them was the sapphire ring that looked remarkably similar to Queen Victoria’s wedding brooch. Set in 18-karat white gold, it features a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire that is encircled by 14 lustrous diamonds.
It was said that Lady Diana had half a dozen rings to pick from, but she chose this one purely because she thought it was beautiful. Its estimated cost at that time was 28,000 pounds sterling.
Prince Charles and Lady Diana got married on July 29, 1981. The fairytale wedding, however, did not have a happily ever after. The couple divorced in the year 1996, amid reports of infidelities on both sides. She then returned her sapphire engagement ring, which was subsequently kept at Kensington palace. But the biggest tragedy came in the form of Princess Diana’s untimely death. On August 30, 1997, she lost her life in a car crash while trying to escape the eyes of the photographers.
After Diana’s death, Prince Charles asked their sons – William and Harry to pick mementos from her possessions. While Harry picked her sapphire engagement ring, William reportedly chose his mother’s gold Cartier watch. But several reports suggest that the brothers exchanged their mementos when William decided to propose marriage to Kate Middleton.
Many saw the ring as a tragic symbol of Princess Diana’s failed marriage. But Prince William said that giving the ring to Kate was his way of making sure his mother was part of the special moment in his life.