When Diana was 20 years old, in 1981, Prince Charles gave her the famous 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire ring, and its 14 solitaire diamonds set in 18-karat white gold ring as an engagement ring. Prince Charles picked the ring from a Garrard catalog, which shocked everybody since the royal family had an enormous amount of jewelry.
When they ended their marriage in 1996, Princess Diana still wore the ring. We all know by now that Prince William gave Kate Middleton this engagement ring, but it is unknown how did the ring ended up at William’s hands, and not Harry’s after the tragic death of their mother in 1997.
Diana’s last wish
Princess Diana had a will. Even though she was young, she still wanted to secure her two sons in case something happened to her. As stated by Marie Claire, Diana wrote in her will, “I would like you to allocate all my jewelry 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.”
William was 15, and Harry 12 at the time Princess Diana died. In the Amazon Prime documentary, The Diana Story, Princess Diana’s butler Paul Burrell shared how he was with William and Harry as they looked through their mother’s possessions. He recalled, “First, William picked out Princess Diana’s Cartier watch. “I’d like mummy’s Cartier watch, the one that Grandpa Spencer gave to her for her 21st birthday.” Then, Harry said he’d like Diana’s blue engagement ring. “I remember when I held mummy’s hand when I was a small boy, and that ring always hurt me because it was so big.”
Kate and Harry were already good friends, as Kate spent a lot of years around the royal family. When Prince William decided he wanted to marry Kate, Prince Harry proposed that William should give their mother’s engagement ring to Kate. He said, “Wouldn’t it be fitting if she had mummy’s ring? Then one day that ring will be sat on the throne of England.” In 2010, Prince William carried the ring during his exploration time on Mount Kenya with Kate Middleton, and after three weeks, he proposed to Kate.
The ring’s worth
Kate Middleton is still wearing the ring, and it’s worth has significantly grown since Prince Charles bought it for $37,000 back in 1981. Now, the ring is worth $500,000. Prince William said of giving his mother’s ring to Kate, “It’s my mother’s engagement ring, and it’s very special to me, as Kate is very special to me now as well. It was only right the two were put together. It was my way of making sure mother didn’t miss out on today and the excitement.”
Source: Cheat Sheet