Why Kate Middletons engagement ring was controversial choice for future Queen

Kate Middleton shows off engagement ring as she uses Lego

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Prince William gifted Kate Middleton the iconic sapphire and diamond engagement ring that previously belonged to his mother, Princess Diana. When Kate debuted it in 2010, many thought her engagement ring was a poignant way of paying tribute to the late Princess, but some thought otherwise.

Famously Princess Diana and Prince Charles’ marriage ended in divorce, and the breakdown of their relationship was played out publicly in the 1990s.

For some, the ring was seen as a poor choice to signify the start of Kate and William’s marriage due to its links to an unhappy one.

But William clearly intended for Kate to wear his late mother’s ring in tribute to her life and legacy.

In his engagement interview in 2010, William explained how special the “family ring” was to him.

He said: “It is my mother’s engagement ring.

“It is very special to me and Kate is very special to me now as well.

“It is only right the two are put together. It is my way of making sure my mother didn’t miss out on today.”

Kate added that she hoped she’d “look after it” and that it was “very, very special” to her.

The ring had also proved to be controversial when it was first debuted by Lady Diana Spencer in 1981.

Diana chose the ring herself from the royal jeweller Garrard, reportedly because it matched her eyes and reminded her of her mother’s engagement ring.

But the ring was said to have raised a few eyebrows in court circles as it was not bespoke.

Anyone who could afford the ring could purchase it in theory from the Garrard catalogue, which some thought was not exclusive enough for the engagement ring of the Princess of Wales.

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Diana’s, and now Kate’s, engagement ring is instantly recognisable by its huge 12-carat oval royal blue sapphire.

Surrounded by a halo of diamonds set in white gold, the engagement ring has been replicated by several jewellers over the years.

And Kate is clearly a huge fan of the rock, as she is rarely pictured without it 12 years on from her engagement.

Kate also pays tribute to Diana by wearing other jewellery items from her collection, including her famous Collingwood pearl earrings.

For state events, Kate also frequently turns to the Lover’s Knot Tiara, a pearl piece that was beloved by Diana.

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