Princess Diana’s Saudi Sapphire Suite

August 31st will mark the 20th Anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, one of the most iconic women of the last century. In honour of her death anniversary, we are featuring 20 of her most iconic jewels, and today’s feature is her Saudi Sapphire Suite!

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Made from parts of a suite given as a wedding present from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, it was described by Leslie Field in The Queen’s Jewels as:

Made by Asprey, it consists of an enormous Burmese sapphire pendant set in a jagged sunray fringe of baguette diamonds and hung on a thin diamond necklace; a matching pair of earrings and ring; a two-row bracelet of brilliant-cut diamonds with a smaller version of the sapphire pendant as a centrepiece; and a wristwatch, the face set in the same diamond sunray fringe and the strap consisting of seven oval sapphires set in clusters of diamonds….”

The ring and watch from the suite were later turned into a choker. The Princess of Wales was not the only royal to receive a gift from jewellery from members of the Saudi Royal Family, as the Queen received many splendid diamond necklaces, the Duchess of York got a Ruby Suite, as did Princess Anne, and most recently, the Duchess of Sussex was given a pair of earrings from the Saudi Crown Prince.

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The first time the Princess wore the suite was at the National Film Institute Dinner at the Royal Festival Hall in December 1981.

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The Princess wore the Saudi Sapphire Suite frequently on royal tours, including State Dinner at Government House in Canberra in 1983

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…a Reception at the Crest International Hotel in Brisbane a few weeks later…

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…and the World Festival Of Arts Opera Performance in Vancouver in 1986, as well as the Queen’s 60th Birthday Concert that year.

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The final (known) appearance of the Saudi Sapphire Suite was in 1987, when Princess of Wales wore it to dance with the Prince after dinner at the Hotel Hyatt in Melbourne. The suite hasn’t been publicly seen since, and was inherited by Prince William and Prince Harry in 1997.

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