PRINCESS DIANA became engaged to Prince Charles in 1981, and her engagement ring is now thought to be one of the most iconic pieces of jewellery in the world. But was the engagement ring a controversial choice by the standards of the Royal Family?
In 1981, Prince Charles and Princess Diana – who was only 19-years-old at the time – announced to the world they were engaged to be married. The iconic engagement ring features a 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire, surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds. Some 30 years later, Prince William would use the same ring to propose to Kate Middleton, now Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.
The engagement ring has now become an important heirloom in the Royal Family.
Princess Diana is known to have been incredibly fond of the ring, and she passed it on to her sons upon her tragic death in 1997.
Despite Princess Diana and Prince Charles’s divorce in 1996, it is thought the Princess of Wales continued to wear her engagement ring because she adored it so much.
Although the ring now has incredible sentimental value for the Royal Family, at the time it was given to Diana, some were not pleased with Prince Charles’ choice.
Princess Diana: Princess Diana and Prince Charles announcing their engagement in the 80s (Image: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images – Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)
It is thought that Princess Diana actually chose the ring herself.
Prince Charles provided the young Lady Diana with a selection of rings from the Crown’s jeweller, Garrard, who also re-cut the Koh-i-Noor, which is set in the centre of the Queen Mother’s Crown.
Garrard traced the design of the ring back to royal jewelry of the past, a reflection of the brooch given to Queen Victoria by her husband, Prince Albert, on their wedding day.
Although beautiful, Princess Diana’s engagement ring was a stock item from the jeweller’s catalogue.
Princess Diana: Kate, Duchess of Cambridge now wear’s Princess Diana’s engagement ring (Image: Arthur Edwards – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Effectively, this meant anybody – with a spare £47,000, as the ring was valued at the time – would be able to purchase the same ring.
VOGUE reported that the fact the ring wasn’t bespoke angered some critics, including members of the Royal Family.
In recent years, many engagement rings belonging to the royals have been bespokely made.
The engagement ring of Princess Beatrice is thought to have been designed by her fiance, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, himself.
Princess Diana: Princess Eugenie’s engagement ring features a rare sapphire centrepoint (Image: JONATHAN BRADY/AFP/Getty Images)
Princess Diana Princess Beatrice’s engagement ring is said to have been designed by Edoardo himself (Image Princess Eugenie/Buckingham Palace via Getty Images)
While Princess Eugenie, who married Jack Brooksbank at Windsor Castle last year, received a rare ‘padparadscha’ sapphire ring which, with its halo setting, has a very floral design.
Before Princess Diana’s engagement, the Queen’s engagement ring is also bespoke.
Prince Philip included precious stones from his grandmother’s tiara, Princess Alice of Battenberg.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK