When she was alive, Princess Diana was the queen of fashion and the princess of sparkle. During the hundreds, if not thousands, of royal events she attended, the Princess of Wales was always impeccably dressed — right down to her fingertips. From her iconic sapphire engagement ring to her subtle diamond-encrusted eternity band, Princess Diana’s ring collection deserves some appreciation.
We all know the heartwarming story behind Princess Diana’s son, Prince William, proposing to his girlfriend with his mother’s old engagement ring, but did you know that the sapphire rock wasn’t the first ring Prince Charles bought Diana? Not many people realized it, but there was another sapphire ring in the late princess’ jewelry box that she was only ever photographed wearing once.
Keep scrolling to learn more about the fascinating backstory behind Princess Diana’s rings.
Princess Diana Sapphire Engagement Ring
Princess Diana's Engagement Ring
By now, we're all familiar with Princess Diana's stunning sapphire engagement ring. Princess Diana broke royal tradition by selecting it from a Garrard's catalog rather than having something custom made. The sparkler features a massive 12-carat oval sapphire surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds and cost £28,000 (about $47,000 USD) in 1981 when Prince Charles proposed. Now, it's now valued at £300,000 (about $500,000 USD).
When Princess Diana died, her sons were allowed to take some of her jewelry. Prince Harry took the sapphire engagement ring while his brother, Prince William, claimed his mother's Cartier Tank Francaise watch. Eventually the brothers exchanged keepsakes, and Prince William used his mother's ring to propose to his then-girlfriend Kate Middleton. Today, the Duchess of Cambridge is rarely ever seen without her mother-in-law's sparkler.
Princess Diana Eternity Band
Princess Diana's Eternity Ring
Before Princess Diana and Prince Charles tied the knot, the prince impressed the young Diana with a glittering eternity ring. At the time their relationship began, Princess Diana was just a 19-year-old nursery assistant, totally unprepared for dating a royal. "I had one long dress, one silk shirt, one smart pair of shoes — and that was it," she admitted to her royal biographer, Andrew Morton. "Suddenly my mother and I had to buy six of everything." A year later, Prince Charles followed up the eternity ring with a 12-carat sapphire engagement ring, and the rest is history. Throughout their marriage, Prince Charles often gifted Princess Diana stunning jewels from the royal family's collections.
It looks like the Princess of Wales is wearing a Cartier trinity ring on her pinky. She often wore the trinity ring in combination with her family's signet ring.
Princess Diana Rings Christmas 1982 Sapphire Cabochon
Princess Diana's Sapphire Cabochon Ring
It appears as though Princess Diana was photographed wearing a beautiful sapphire cabochon ring only once — during a Christmas photoshoot in 1982 with her son, Prince William. Although we don't know why she never wore it in public, some speculate that she wore it to protect her son from getting scratched by her engagement ring while taking photos. Princess Diana certainly had a soft spot for sapphires!
Princess Diana Aquamarine Ring
Princess Diana's Aquamarine Ring
Meghan Markle made headlines in May 2018 when she wore her late mother-in-law's aquamarine ring to her wedding reception. The enormous emerald-cut stone is actually part of a set Princess Diana owned, which also included a bracelet. It's royal tradition for grooms to gift their brides a piece of jewelry from their mothers' collections. Prince William gave Kate Middleton his mother's sapphire ring, and Prince Philip made Queen Elizabeth a custom ring using gems from his mother's tiara. While this sparkler is definitely a bit much for everyday use, it certainly is pretty!