Why Princess Diana's Engagement Ring Caused Controversy

Not everyone in the royal family loved that iconic blue stone.

Princess Diana

Photo by Tim Graham

Princess Diana's sapphire blue engagement ring may be one of the most recognizable pieces of jewelry in history, but not everyone was a fan of the stunning blue bauble. As re-enacted on season four of Netflix's "The Crown," a young Diana got to choose the priceless accessory from a selection of royal jewels as well as rings from crown jeweler Garrard.

However, although the designer created the stunning ring for the then-soon-to-be princess with a white gold band and 14 solitaire diamonds, the ring was featured in the jeweler's catalog, meaning anyone could have bought it—assuming they had £47,000 ($60,000) to dish out for the rock. According to Vogue, this reportedly did not sit well with the royal family, who didn't want commoners having the same access to jewels fit for royals.

princess diana and prince charles
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According to The Daily Mail, the jeweler found inspiration from Prince Albert's wedding present to Queen Victoria in 1840. The late prince gifted the Queen a brooch with a similar diamond and sapphire design, which she wore as her "something blue" on her wedding day. In the decades since, Queen Elizabeth has repeatedly worn the same brooch at public events.

The late princess continued to wear her engagement ring even after she and Prince Charles divorced in 1996. After her death, Prince William inherited the sapphire sparkler, eventually using it to propose to Kate Middleton in 2010.

kate middleton and prince william
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Meghan Markle's engagement ring from Prince Harry similarly features stones from Princess Diana's jewelry collection. The Duchess of Sussex was also gifted Diana's famous emerald-cut Aquamarine ring from her new husband on their wedding day.

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And it seems that those royal jewelers have learned their lesson. Unlike Princess Di's engagement ring that could've been publicly purchased, Cleave and Company, the designers behind Meghan Markle's engagement ring, announced that no replicas would be made soon after Prince Harry proposed.

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