Why Princess Diana's Engagement Ring Caused Controversy Within the Royal Family

Not everyone loved that iconic blue stone.

Updated 11/28/19

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.

Although the designer, crown jeweler Garrard, 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 catalogue, 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 reportedly picked out this engagement ring herself, and there is speculation that the late princess chose it because it reminded her of her own mother's ring. 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. 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.

Getty Images
Getty Images

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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