Engagement ring of Lady Diana Spencer

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A replica of Lady Diana Spencer's engagement ring

Lady Diana Spencer and Charles, Prince of Wales, became engaged in February 1981. Her engagement ring consisted of 14 solitaire diamonds surrounding a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire set in 18-karat white gold.[1][2] It was created by then-crown jeweller Garrard and cost, at the time, £28,000[3] (equivalent to £98,000 in 2016). Its estimated value in 2014 was £300,000 (equivalent to £308,000 in 2016).[3]

Diana's selection of this ring was unusual. It was neither custom-made nor unique and was, at the time of her engagement to Charles, featured in Garrard's jewellery collection and available to anyone for purchase.[4] Some commentators say Diana selected it because it reminded her of her mother's engagement ring, while others say that she chose it due to its big size.[4] The ring is said to bear a resemblance to Queen Victoria's sapphire-and-diamond wedding brooch, which was chosen for her by Prince Albert.[2] Nevertheless, she continued to use the ring even after her divorce from Prince Charles.[4]

After Diana's death, Princes William and Harry selected mementos from their mother's possessions. Harry chose the engagement ring, while William selected Diana's £19,000 yellow gold Cartier Tank Francaise watch. They eventually exchanged mementos.[4] When Prince William proposed to Catherine Middleton in the autumn of 2010 in Kenya, he gave her the ring.[5] William later said that giving the ring to his fiancée was a "way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today and the excitement."[5] Middleton eventually had the ring resized because she had lost weight prior to the wedding. Her finger being an H, she asked Crown Jewellers G Collins and Sons to attach two platinum studs to it to make it a size I.[6]

After the engagement was announced, some called the ring the "Commoner's Sapphire," a reference to the bride's non-royal origins.[7] Others considered the ring a tragic symbol associated with Diana's failed marriage to the Prince of Wales and untimely death in a car accident in Paris.[8]


  1. ^ "Royal Rocks: The Engagement Rings of Princess Brides". InStyle. 28 November 2017. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b Taylor, Elise (28 October 2017). "The Little-Known Story Behind Kate Middleton's Engagement Ring". Vogue. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b Toomey, Alyssa (9 May 2014). "You Won't Believe How Much Kate Middleton's Engagement Ring Is Really Worth". E! Online. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "A Close Look at the British Royal Family's Engagement Rings". Vogue. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Here's The Little-Known History Behind Duchess Kate's Sapphire Blue Engagement Ring". Huffington Post. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
  6. ^ Showbiz, Bang (13 April 2011). "Kate Middleton gets Diana's ring resized". The Independent. UK.
  7. ^ Seren (15 December 2012). "The Legacy of the Royal Engagement Ring: From Diana to Catherine". Fancy Color Diamonds. Retrieved 2 March 2014.
  8. ^ Pearson, Allison (23 April 2011). "Royal wedding: Diana's ghost will be everywhere on Prince William's big day". The Telegraph. UK.