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For brides-to-be, everyone wants to see the ring—at least everyone in her immediate circle. But when Kate Middleton was a bride, literally everyone in the entire world wanted to see her ring—and would have even if it hadn’t once belonged to her late mother-in-law Princess Diana, one of the most famous pieces of jewelry in modern history.
The ring—a 12-carat blue sapphire engagement ring surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds—is a piece that Kate reportedly adores and has since the moment Prince William proposed to her in Kenya in 2010. But, just before their wedding day on April 29, 2011, The Mirror reports “Kate actually had the ring altered—as she found the band was too big and ‘turning on her finger.’”
The outlet reports the ring was taken to royal jeweler G Collins and Sons, “who made the tweak so it would fit better,” the outlet writes. “However, rather than resizing the band, small platinum beads are believed to have been attached inside the bottom of the ring, to give it a better fit.”
At the time, a source told The Sun that the now Duchess of Cambridge “adores” the ring, but it was just too big for her finger.
“A bride’s worst nightmare is looking down and seeing her ring has fallen off,” the source says. “One can only imagine how this is magnified when you are marrying the future King of England.”
Another interesting tidbit about the ring? It was actually originally supposed to be worn by Meghan—though, at the time, no one had any idea who Harry would eventually marry. After her death in 1997, Diana’s engagement ring was originally Harry’s, but, since William was ready to propose to Kate long before Harry was ready to propose to Meghan (William popped the question in 2010, six years before Harry and Meghan even met), Harry “selflessly” gave up the ring so Kate could have it, according to Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell, speaking on the program The Diana Story.
“After Diana died following a car crash in Paris in 1997, Prince Charles allowed his sons to select pieces from her jewelry collection to keep,” The Mirror reports. “It’s believed the sapphire ring went to Harry, while William chose a gold Cartier watch…Shortly before William proposed to his now-wife Kate in 2010, Harry offered his brother the chance to give his bride-to-be their mother’s ring.”
Oh, how we long for those days of brotherly closeness again.
Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.
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