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. Today’s feature is her Sapphire Engagement Ring-
Featuring a large, faceted oval Ceylon sapphire surrounded by fourteen round diamonds, this iconic ring was made by Garrards and chosen by Lady Diana Spencer from a selection of rings. The price was £28,500, known since the ring was a stock item rather than a custom order.
The first time the ring was publicly seen was at the engagement photocall of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer in February 1981, when Lady Diana showed of her engagement ring to the world’s media.
The sapphire and diamond engagement ring was worn by the Princess of Wales for the duration of her marriage, and even during the four years of her separation, out of affection for her sons. In September 1995, her first engagement after the divorce was finalized, the Princess still wore her engagement ring on the day Prince William started school at Eton. Two days later, the ring was off, and after her untimely death in 1997, it passed to her sons.
In 2010, Prince William proposed to his longtime girlfriend, Catherine Middleton, with his mother’s engagement ring, after carrying it in his backpack around Kenya. At the engagement photocall a few weeks later, he said:
It’s very special to me. As Kate’s very special to me now, it was right to put the two together. It was my way of making sure my mother didn’t miss out on today, and the excitement, and the fact that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together.”
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The Duchess of Cambridge has worn her late mother-in-law’s engagement ring from that day on. Popular photographs come from the presentations of Prince George and Princess Charlotte to the media after their birth. Seeing the ring in the picture links that happy moment to their late grandmother that they never knew.
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