The Engagement Ring
The ever famous ring was personally chosen by Diana from a selection presented to her by Garrard Jewelers, making it an unusual royal choice because anyone could purchase it from the Garrard catalog at the time. A large, oval 12 carat sapphire is surrounded by a cluster of 14 diamonds set in 18 karat white gold. When the official engagement photos were released, the ring only had 8 prongs total; 2 in each corner. More prongs were added in December of 1981 and the end result is what now rests on Catherine’s finger (also pictured above).
There are many speculations as to why Diana chose this particular ring. Sapphires were one of the Princess’ favorite gemstones. Some say she chose it because it reminded her of her mother’s engagement ring. Others say she chose it to match her beautiful blue eyes. Diana later stated that it she picked it because it “was the biggest one.” Whatever the reason, this beautiful ring has indeed become a symbol and an heirloom. When William gave it to Kate he stated, “It’s very special to me. As Kate’s very special to me now, it was right to put the two together. It was my way of making sure my mother didn’t miss out on today and the excitement, and the fact that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together.”
Gold Weave Bracelet & Gold Watch
Prince Charles gave Diana much jewelry, including the gold watch on her left arm and the gold weave bracelet on her right. Both were birthday gifts for the Princess. She is also wearing Prince Charles’ watch on her left arm below the gold one as she watches one of his polo matches. (July 1981)
Sapphire and Diamond Cluster Earrings
These earrings made of a single oval sapphire surrounded by 10 round diamonds were one of Diana’s favorite pair of earrings. She wore them on many occasions including the official birth photos of Prince Harry in 1984, and in May of 1988. Recently, William gave these earrings to his wife Catherine who opted to remodel the studs into drop earrings. The Duchess of Cambridge wore them for the first time at a tennis match in Wimbledon in June 2011. She also wore them during the couple’s first official visit to North America in July 2011.
Art deco emerald and diamond choker.
This was a wedding gift to Diana from the queen. Diana wore this on countless occasions including a charity concert in 1982 (far right) and a banquet in London held by the King of Malaysia in November 1993. The most famous wearing of this piece was in October 1985 in Melbourne, Australia when Diana wore the choker as a headband (far left). This choker remains one of the most admired and adored pieces of jewelry of all time.
Seven-strand diamond and sapphire pearl choker.
This piece of jewelry was recently called “the seven-strand pearl choker that stunned the world.” The large sapphire surrounded by two rows of diamonds was originally a brooch given to Diana as a wedding gift by the Queen Mother. Diana wore it as a brooch on only two occasions before she decided to turn it into a choker. Pearls, along with sapphires, were some of Diana’s favorite jewels. She wore this on countless occasions including the White House in November 1985 (when she danced with John Travolta), April 1986 (right), and in New York in 1995 when she presented the CFDA Council of Fashion Award. She also wore it with her famous black revenge dress.
Saudi Arabian Diamonds and Sapphire Suite
The Princess received this magnificent set of jewelry from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia as a wedding gift. The suite includes a sapphire and diamond pendant suspended on a diamond tennis necklace, matching earrings, a ring, bracelet, and watch. The jewels came in a green malachite box decorated with a palm tree and crossed swords (left). Diana most often wore the necklace and earrings and occasionally the bracelet, including at a State reception in Australia in April 1983 (right) and also to the Melbourne Australia visit in January 1988. She used stones from the watch and ring to make a completely new set of jewelry.
Black Bow and Dangle Earrings
These drop earrings from Butler and Wilson are from Diana’s paste collection and are cut in colored crystal. There were many pairs of heart shaped earrings in Diana’s collection. This pair has a small central heart surrounded by paste diamonds. Diana wore these in Canada in May 1986 and also in Spain in 1987.
Diana received this bracelet as a gift from Prince Charles. For the first 10 years of their marriage, Charles gave Diana a different charm to add to the bracelet. He gave her a “W” in 1982 for William’s birth and an “H” in 1984 for Harry’s birth. Other charms he gave her included a pair of ballet shoes because of her love of ballet and dream of being a dancer, a tennis racket because tennis was her favorite sport, a polo cap representing her love of polo, a miniature St. Paul’s Cathedral to represent where they were married, a teddy bear because of her love of them, an apple for her love of Manhattan, and a pig which was most likely a private joke. Diana rarely or never wore this bracelet in public because it was a precious reminder to her of the good times in their marriage.
Diamond Flower Brooch
This diamond brooch was left for Diana after her friend Adrian Ward-Jackson died. She wears it with the “Thailand gown” at a reception at Buckingham Palace in July 1991.
Ruby Sapphire Pearl Earrings
These are an interesting pair of earrings in that one has an oval ruby with a pearl (left) and the other as an oval sapphire with a pearl (right). Ruby stones hold the pearl drops on both earrings. Diana wore these during her tour of South Korea in November 1992.
Triple Strand Pearl Choker with Pearl Flower Cluster Clasp
This pearl choker was a present from the Spencer family to Diana on her 18th birthday. It was made of three rows of pearls with a turquoise and pearl cluster clasp. Diana wore the clasp in the front when it matched her outfit (right). She altered the clasp at one point to be all pearls. Diana wore this choker of many occasions, including April 1983.
Diamond Eternity Band
Diana wears this diamond band on her right hand. She was seen wearing this more often in her younger years, around the time of her engagement.
This tiara was much different from those that the royal family normally wore in that it has more curved, floral details. The tiara belonged to the Spencer family and is made up of different pieces from the family dating back to Victorian times. It entered Diana’s branch of the family when it was given to Cynthia, Viscountess Althorp by Lady Sarah Spencer as a wedding gift in 1919. It was remodeled since then (around 1935) to it’s current appearance. Princess Diana was lent this tiara to wear on her wedding day and she continued to wear it throughout her time as Princess of Wales. The Spencer tiara was reportedly Diana’s favorite. The Spencer family still owned it during this time in Diana’s life, so it was also worn by her sister-in-law, Victoria Lockwood, when she married Diana’s brother Earl Spencer in 1989. The tiara is now back with the Spencer family.
Diana wore this yellow gold necklace when she was first photographed and speculated to be dating Prince Charles (left). She wore it mostly when she was quite young, during the early years of her and Charles’ relationship. However, she was also seen wearing it as she got older. She wore it as more of a choker during a polo match in 1985 (right).
Gold Bracelet with Charm
Diana wore this gold bracelet with a single charm added to it on her right arm on many occasions. One was during the photo session with baby Prince William on the lawn of the Government House in Auckland, New Zealand in 1983 (left). She also wore it on a visit to Australia in that same year as well as while watching one of Prince Charles’ polo matches (right).
“Swan Lake” Diamond and Pearl set
This beautiful necklace was designed in the spring of 1997 by Garrard, the Crown Jewelers, with the assistance of Diana. It is a “brilliant cut diamond and marquise diamond scroll motif center with a South Sea cultured pearl and marquise diamond fringe drop.” Diana wore this to the royal gala performance of “Swan Lake” at the Royal Albert Hall on June 3, 1997—her last official engagement before her death (right). After the performance, Diana returned the necklace to Garrard for them to make a matching pair of earrings, but she never got to wear the complete set (pictured to the left). The complete set has since gone up for auction.
13th/18th Royal Hussars Pin
Princess Diana became a Colonel-in-chief of the 13th/18th Royal Hussars in April of 1989. She wore this regimental pin as she posed for an official portrait painting in May 1990 (left). She also wore this pin when she attended the Gulf War victory parade in London on June 21, 1991 (right).
Yellow Gold Round Button Earrings
Diana wore these large, round earrings on many occasions, including here in November 1986 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
18 karat Gold Cartier Tank Francaise Watch
After her divorce from Prince Charles, Diana was seen wearing this watch quite often. The watch was a gift from her father. In this photo, she wears it as she visits the Lung Foundation in April 1997. After Diana’s death, Prince William and Prince Harry were allowed to walk through her Kensington Palace apartment to pick out mementos of their mother to take with them. Among many other things, Prince Harry chose her sapphire and diamond engagement ring while Prince William chose this watch.
Sapphire Cabochon Ring
It seems that Diana wore this sapphire cabochon ring only once, seen here on her left hand in this photo session during Christmas 1982 at Kensington Palace with baby Prince William. It is speculated that she wore this ring in place of her sapphire and diamond engagement ring so she would not scratch baby William.
This suite of jewels is made up of a diamond necklace, diamond earrings, and a diamond bracelet. The crescent shaped diamond earrings were given to Diana by the Sultan of Oman during the couple’s visit to Oman in November 1986. In this photo, Diana is wearing the necklace and earrings at a formal banquet in Germany in November 1987. She wore this suite numerous other times, including during a trip to Sydney, Australia. These pieces are some of my absolute favorites of Diana.
Cambridge Lover’s Knot Tiara
This crown consists of pearls that hang from 19 diamond arches capped with lover’s knots. The piece was composed with existing jewels that Queen Mary had in her collection. This tiara originated in 1913/1914 when it was commissioned from Garrard by Queen Mary. She modeled it from a tiara owned by her grandmother, Princess Augusta of Hesse. After Mary died in 1953, the tiara was passed to Queen Elizabeth II who wore it regularly throughout the 1950s. The crown, however, went back into storage until the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer. Queen Elizabeth gave the lover’s knot tiara to Princess Diana as a wedding gift in 1981. Diana found this crown to be quite heavy, so she often opted to wear her family’s Spencer Tiara instead. After Diana’s divorce from Prince Charles in 1996, the lover’s knot tiara was returned to the queen.
Double-Strand Pearl Necklace
A long, double strand pearl necklace. Diana wore this necklace with a beautiful black lace off-the-shoulder gown in at a formal visit in 1987 in Hamburg, West Germany. I adore this entire look.