On February 6th, 1981, Princes Charles popped the question to Lady Diana Spencer while enjoying a private dinner inside Buckingham Palace. When the couple finally stepped out a few weeks later for their official engagement photo op, the public got to see the gorgeous ring they had all been waiting for, which Diana actually picked out herself. The ring included a 12-carat oval-shaped Ceylon sapphire which was surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds and set in 18-karat white gold. When it was made, the crown jeweler Garrard was reportedly inspired by the sapphire-and-diamond cluster brooch that was made for Prince Albert in 1840 to give to Queen Victoria as a wedding present. She later donned that brooch as her “something blue” on her wedding day. The same brooch has since been spotted on Queen Elizabeth II multiple times.
Despite the fact that the precious gem on the ring was quite expensive ($37,000) and exclusive, some people within the royal family still took issue with Diana’s choice. The issue became that because the ring was also displayed in the Garrard catalog, as well as on Diana’s finger, the Royals took that to mean that it was not ‘exclusive’ enough for their family. Most royals have their rings custom made so that they are extra special. People did not enjoy the fact that Diana was flaunting a ring that was so ‘accessible’ to the public. But people quickly came to realize that Diana was not one to conform to all of the Royal rules and that she was not one to give in.
Some people believe that Diana chose this ring with a sapphire because it reminded her of her mother’s engagement ring, and others think that it was just the one with the biggest stone. Whatever the reason, she loved it and now so does the rest of the world.
Princess Diana wore the sapphire blue ring up until her divorce from Prince Charles in 1996. After that, she started wearing a gorgeous emerald-cut aquamarine blue ring instead, which she bought for herself. That is the same ring that Duchess Megan wore to her wedding reception in 2018.
After the tragic death of Diana in 1997, her sons, Prince William and Prince Harry inherited her entire jewelry collection including both of these stunning rings. The late princess wrote in her will “I would like you to allocate all my jewellery to the share to be held by my sons, so that their wives may, in due course, have it or use it. I leave the exact division of the jewelry to your discretion.”
It’s been reported after Prince William specifically asked to have the famous sapphire ring to present to Kate Middleton, even though Prince Harry had chosen it for himself, Harry made the trade with his brother for his mother’s Cartier watch.
It’s been said that Prince William carried his mother’s ring in his backpack for three weeks before proposing to his beloved while vacationing in Mount Kenya in October of 2010.
If you are looking for rings that resemble the shape and style of Princess Diana’s two showstopper rings, then check out our ethically made diamond engagement rings!