Princess Diana broke convention with ‘common’ style choice before wedding – here’s how

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PRINCESS DIANA is remembered for her impeccable style, and especially her sapphire engagement ring that now belongs to Kate Middleton. However, this ring actually broke royal tradition at the time, sparking a huge backlash.

The Princess of Wales, however, decided to change things up by selecting a ring that could technically be worn by anybody, as long as they could afford it.

The Spencer heiress’s sapphire blue engagement ring was designed by Garrard, a luxury jeweller based in Mayfair, London.

Believed to be inspired by the blue bridal brooch worn by Queen Victoria on her wedding day to Prince Albert, the stunning accessory boasted a 12-carat oval sapphire encrusted by 14 round diamonds and cost a whopping £47,000 at the time.

Princess Diana broke convention with 'common' style choice before wedding - here's how

Princess Diana broke convention with ‘common’ style choice before wedding – here’s how (Image: GETTY)

Diana's ring broke royal tradition at the time

Diana’s ring broke royal tradition at the time (Image: GETTY)

Kate Middleton now wears Diana's ring

Kate Middleton now wears Diana’s ring (Image: GETTY)

Princess Diana also re-designed the engagement ring slightly, with some insiders speculating the tweaking was simply for resizing purposes.

While the ring was made by Garrard for Diana, it was also featured as a product in the company’s catalogue.

As such, it became available to buy by very rich members of the public.

The newspapers at the time did not hold back with their criticism of the ring, with many tabloids labelling it as the “Commoner’s Sapphire”.

Despite this negative press, the style would become incredibly popular with brides-to-be in both the UK and abroad.

Today, the most famous piece of Princess Diana’s jewellery resides on the finger of her daughter-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with the ring in Kenya in October 2010, seven months before they tied the knot at Westminster Abbey.

It’s understood that Kate, like Diana, also had the ring resized for optimal fit.

Margaret's husband designed her engagement ring for her

Margaret’s husband designed her engagement ring for her (Image: GETTY)

Queen Elizabeth's ring was also designed by Prince Philip

Queen Elizabeth’s ring was also designed by Prince Philip (Image: GETTY)

Jewellery experts at Angelic Diamond’s previously spoke to Express.co.uk about the most popular royal engagement rings.

They said: “Kate Middleton’s engagement ring, worth an incredible £400,000, is the most expensive engagement ring belonging to the Royal Family, as well as the most popular with the public amassing an incredible 9,120 searches a month.

“Kate’s engagement ring, formally owned by the late Princess Diana and inspired by a brooch that has been passed through the family, is a 12-carat oval sapphire surrounded by a halo of 14 solitaire diamonds.

“Sapphires are a favourite of the royals thanks to the belief that they protect from harm, negative energies, and bad spirits, as well as being an apparent antidote for poison.

“Interestingly, Princess Diana’s engagement ring belonged to Prince Harry when she passed, however, the two Princes agreed that whoever proposed first would get the ring, leading to Prince William giving the ring to Kate in November 2010.

“The ring isn’t the most expensive piece of jewellery linked to Kate Middleton’s marriage to Prince William.

“The study also looked at some of the most iconic pieces of jewellery owned by the family, finding that the Cartier Halo tiara worn by Kate for her wedding is worth an incredible £1.6million.

“Featuring 739 brilliant-cut diamonds, 149 baguette diamonds and being worth 100 carats, it’s no surprise this piece comes with a hefty price tag.”

Source: EXPRESS CO UK

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