Kate Middleton’s £400,000 engagement ring belonging to Princess Diana was altered
Prince William proposed to his long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton while the pair were on holiday in Kenya in 2010, and his choice of ring could not have been more special. The sapphire and diamond ring that Kate now wears with pride once belonged to William’s late mother Princess Diana, who first debuted the ring in 1981 when her engagement to Prince Charles was announced.
Diana was thought to have picked her engagement ring herself from the royal jeweller Garrard, and the choice was said to be inspired by the sapphire brooch given to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert for their wedding in 1840 that the Queen now wears regularly.
Featuring a central sapphire rather than a diamond, Diana’s choice was unusual for an engagement ring and tongues wagged over the fact anyone could purchase the ring from the jeweller’s catalogue, albeit for a high price.
But it is thought Diana picked the gem due to its similarities to her mother’s engagement ring, and how it complemented her blue eyes.
Adorned by a halo of diamonds, Diana’s ring is one of the most recognisable engagement rings in the world, and royal fans were delighted when it reemerged on Kate Middleton’s finger in 2010.
Jewellery experts estimate that Kate’s stunning ring could be worth between £300,000 to £400,000 due to its association with the late Princess Diana and the Royal Family.
Lorna Haddon, head of diamonds and jewellery at Beaverbrooks, said: “Rather than a traditional diamond at its centre, Kate’s iconic engagement ring holds a stunning 12-carat oval blue sapphire, which is surrounded by fourteen smaller solitaire diamonds.
“The sapphire and diamonds are set in a slim 18-carat white gold band, which accentuates the central piece and draws the eye into the precious stones.
“A family heirloom, Kate’s ring once belonged to Prince William’s mother, Princess Diana, and has incredible sentimental value to the Prince.”
Kate rarely takes her engagement ring off, but she has been pictured without it while attending sporting engagements or hospitals for hygiene reasons.
She also sports a third band which is adorned with several small diamonds, and the ring was spotted sometime after the birth of Kate and William’s first child, Prince George.
Many royal fans interpreted the eternity ring to be a sweet gift from William to Kate to mark their parenthood debut.
Kate isn’t the only royal to have altered their engagement ring in recent years. Meghan Markle’s engagement ring from Prince Harry originally featured a central diamond from Botswana flanked by two smaller stones from the late Diana’s collection.
The stones were set on a plain yellow gold band, but Meghan was spotted some time after her marriage sporting an upgraded diamond band.
The scalloped diamond edges of the ring add a touch of extra glamour to the stunning ring, and Meghan wears it alongside her Welsh gold wedding ring.