Thursday, 25 February 2016

A very famous engagement ring

Thirty five years is usually linked to jade or coral but this 35th is all about a sapphire. For on February 25th 1981, the papers were full of photos of a sparkling sapphire and diamond ring. Ia world before the internet (yes, that really happened) we had to wait until the day after the announcement of the engagement of Charles and Diana for a chance to really study the ring he had given her. So it was 35 years ago right now that we got a proper introduction to what is now one of the most famous rings in the world.

Famous from the first moment - Diana's sapphire and diamond ring sparkling in an official portrait

And what a ring it was. A 12 carat oval Ceylon sapphire surrounded by fourteen solitaire diamonds on a band of gold. No wonder it got so much coverage all those years ago. It was big, it was bold, it was beautiful. And it broke the royal mould. Diana didn't pick a family heirloom, she chose a new design from the jewellers Garrards and pretty much as soon as it appeared in the papers all those years ago, just about everyone wanted a copy of it. Diana was a trend setter from the start.

Of course it became famous all over again in 2010 when her first son, Prince William, presented it to his fiance, Catherine Middleton, when they announced their engagement to the world. William said he wanted his mother to be a part of his special moment and as the ring sparkled on Kate's finger it took on another chapter in an already famous royal history.

Then it starred in royal portraits beamed around the world. Today it features in more globally known pictures. The way the photos are spread has changed with Kate's ring snapped on the internet while Diana's was a newspaper sensation. Thirty five years on, this famous piece of royal jewellery is still making headlines.

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