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The words ‘Kate Middleton ring’ are some of the most googled in the world when it comes to engagement rings.
There is simply no denying that her sapphire stunner is one of the most iconic engagement rings in the world. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
Does Kate Middleton have Princess Diana’s ring?
Most of you know that before it became Kate Middleton’s engagement ring, it was actually Princess Diana’s. As fans of The Crown will attest, she got engaged to Prince Charles in February 1981, and chose the ring herself, instead of picking one from the Queen’s collection.
It was a rather unusual move, because it wasn’t even a custom design, in fact anyone could’ve walked into the then crown jeweller Garrard and bought the exact same design themselves. It consisted of a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire surrounded by 14 diamonds and set in 18-karat white gold.
However there was a royal nod in the design itself, as it was inspired by a brooch Queen Victoria wore on her wedding day in 1840, which was her ‘something blue’ and a gift from Prince Albert.
After Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorced in 1996, it is unclear whether she kept the ring or gave it back, however we do know it was passed onto her sons after she died.
According to her former butler Paul Burrell, Harry originally chose the ring for himself. He said in the Amazon documentary The Diana Story, ‘[Harry said] “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. So I went to the safe and gave Harry Diana’s engagement ring.’
Later on though, Harry chose to give it to his brother William. ‘Harry said to him: “Wouldn’t it be fitting if she had mummy’s ring? Then one day that ring will be sat on the throne of England”‘ recalls Burrell.
The ring now proudly sits on Kate Middleton finger.
How much is Kate Middleton’s ring worth?
At the time of Princess Diana’s engagement in the early 80s, the ring cost £28,000. However these days experts place the value at around £300,000-400,000, though others say that given its history, it is priceless.
Kate Middleton wedding ring
Like most royal brides since the Queen Mother, including the Queen and Meghan Markle, Duchess Catherine’s wedding ring was forged from a nugget of rare Welsh gold. In 1923, the royal family obtained a large nugget of gold from the Clogau St. David’s Gold Mine in Bontddu, North Wales, to make the Queen Mother’s wedding ring.
That same nugget was used for the rings of Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, Princess Anne and Princess Diana, however not much was left of it after that.
But fear not, the British Royal Legion came to the rescue by gifting Queen Elizabeth with a second nugget in the 1980s, which has been used for the wedding rings for the Fergie, the Countess of Wessex, Camilla, Meghan and Kate.
Kate Middleton eternity ring
A few years ago, eagle-eyed fans spotted that the Duchess of Cambridge has started wearing a diamond eternity ring on her ring finger, alongside her engagement ring and wedding ring. It emerged that it was the Eclipse Diamond Eternity Ring by Annoushka (retailing at £995), and was said to be a present from Prince William, given to her after the birth of Prince George in 2013.
Did Kate Middleton change her engagement ring?
While she didn’t change the design of the ring, she did reportedly add platinum beads to the inside of the band so it would sit more snuggly on her finger, as it was slightly too big. Princess Diana however had altered the ring slightly, adding more prongs to the frame of the central stone (there were 8 before, now there are 14).
Fans did notice that in 2020 she started wearing her engagement ring less, but this is thought to be due to the pandemic. Washing your hands often can’t be easy with such a chunky ring, and harsh soaps could cause damage to it.