We all know Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, inherited her late mother-in-law Princess Diana’s engagement ring when she married Prince William. But how did that now-famous sapphire ring come to be on Diana’s finger?
Prince Charles did not choose the ring for his bride-to-be when the two got engaged in 1981. As was revealed in the fourth season of Netflix’s hit royal series The Crown , Diana chose the ring herself.
Soon after their engagement, Diana was invited to Buckingham Palace, where she was presented with a selection of engagement rings. In the show, Emma Corrin, who takes on the role of Diana, contemplated a Burmese ruby ring, before deciding on the Ceylon sapphire ring.
The 18-carat oval-cut sapphire originated from Sri Lanka, a country famous for its production of top quality sapphires. Unlike Colombian or Kashmir sapphires, Sri Lankan sapphires are known for their bright blue hues and translucence due to their low iron content compared to stones found in other regions.
It’s been documented that Diana chose the Sapphire ring because it matched the colour of her eyes and reminded her of her mother’s ring. The ring, an off-the-rack design by royal jeweller Garrard, features a halo design with 14 diamonds surrounding the blue centre stone.
When Diana passed away, it was rumoured that Prince Harry kept the ring while Prince William chose to take their mother’s gold Cartier Tank watch. When Prince William popped the question to Kate Middleton, Prince Harry agreed to swap their picks so his brother could propose with their mother’s engagement ring.