My favorite Christmas gift this year? A replica of Duchess Catherine’s engagement ring, gifted to me by my sister Lizz. Lizz apparently scoured high and low, looking for the best knockoff of Kate Middleton’s hulking 18-carat sapphire and diamond ring, which originally belonged to Princess Diana. This was a stroke of genius on many levels, and not just because I am obsessed with all things Kate-related. Blue just happens to be my favorite color, and I prefer my bling to be as big and gaudy as possible.
Replicas of Middleton’s ring have been flying off store shelves in the UK at about the same pace that people have been snatching up knockoffs of Pippa Middleton’s bridesmaid dress. But apparently, the store making this specific replica ring is only carrying it in a size 7, supposedly the ring size Middleton actually wears. (I can’t find any confirmation on the interwebs that this is or isn’t true.) And I just have to say that, for such a skinny girl, I am surprised by the heft of her fingers. This ring doesn’t even sort of of fit my ring finger. Heck, it even slips off my thumb. I had to put a little tin foil around the back to wear it on my middle finger as seen in this picture.
That said, I still kind of love this thing.
According to MSNBC, when Prince Charles asked Diana Spencer to marry him in 1981, he gave her a selection of rings to chose from. She selected this over-the-top design from jeweler Garrard. It cost a cool $60,000, which caused quite a scandal at the time.
Apparently, when Princess Diana died, she left the ring to Prince Harry. But Harry passed it on to his older brother, Prince William, to propose with. Supposedly, Harry wanted the ring to be worn by the future queen of England.
In a press conference shortly after announcing his engagement, Prince William said he loved the symbolism of giving Kate Middleton his mom’s ring.
“Obviously, [my mom] not going to be around to share in any of the fun and excitement of [the wedding], so this is my way of keeping her sort of close to it all,” he said.
He also shared that getting it out of the royal safe without word leaking out in the press was a “cloak and dagger” operation. He said he kept the ring in his bag on a trip to Kenya, where he finally asked Middleton to marry him.
“I literally would not let it go,” he said. “Everywhere I went, I was keeping ahold of it because I knew, this thing, if it disappeared, I’d be in a lot of trouble.”
“I just hope I look after it,” responded Middleton.
And I hope that I’ll look after mine too.