The royal family’s collection of jewels are timeless heirlooms passed down from one generation to another. Amongst the glistening tiaras and diamond necklaces are intricately designed earrings and sparkling engagement rings. Both Middleton and Meghan Markle inherited jewelry from Princess Diana’s collection when they married into the royal family. One of the most well-known pieces that was passed down from one royal to another is Princess Diana’s blue sapphire engagement ring, which now belongs to Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton.
For Markle, her engagement ring is composed of two side stones taken from Princess Di’s jewelry collection. However, these aren’t the only pieces that they have received from their respective husbands, Prince William and Prince Harry, via the late royal’s archives. Middleton and Markle also inherited dainty bracelets and priceless watches. The two even regularly reference Princess Diana’s style in their own outfits at public events. In addition, the duo likes to incorporate the jewelry that they were handed down from Princess Di’s collection into their attire, as a way to honor her memory.
If you wish to know which pieces of royal jewelry both Middleton and Markle inherited when they joined the royal family, read on ahead. The heirloom pieces are simply dazzling from a three-strand pearl bracelet to the Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot tiara to a chic Cartier watch.
Princess Diana’s Collingwood Pearl Earrings
The classic pearl earrings were a wedding gift from Prince Charles to Princess Diana — he got them from Collingwood jewellers in London. They were a particular favorite of Diana’s as she wore them frequently throughout their marriage, from incorporating them into her wedding day look to rocking the earrings with her “revenge dress” on the same day that Prince Charles admitted to adultery. In 2017, Middleton inherited the earrings and first wore them at the Spanish State Banquet. She continues to showcase the piece during important functions and moments. For one of her three new portraits, which will enter the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, Middleton wore the Collingwood pearl earrings with an off-the-shoulder white dress. The portraits were released in honor of the future queen’s 40th birthday.
Princess Diana’s South Sea Pearl Earrings
One of Princess Diana’s favorite pieces was her diamond and South Sea pearl earrings. She first wore them at the Coronation Banquet of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan in November 1990. The sparkling diamond-knot earrings feature a large set of dangly pearls from the South Sea. The elegant set was a wedding present from Collingwood Jewellers to Princess Diana and Middleton has since inherited it. In February 2019, at the British Academy Film Awards, Middleton wore the top portion of the earrings with the smaller pearls from Princess Diana’s Collingwood Pearl Earrings.
Princess Diana’s Sapphire Engagement Ring
Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton in 2010 with Princess Diana’s timeless Ceylon sapphire engagement ring. The 12-carat oval ring originally belonged to Prince Harry, but Prince William swapped his mother’s Cartier watch for it. The center stone is surrounded by 14 diamonds and set in 18-karat white gold.
Princess Diana’s Diamonds
Unlike Middleton’s engagement ring, Markle’s sparkler features little stones from Princess Diana’s jewelry collection. Back in November 2017, after Kensington Palace announced Prince Harry and Markle’s engagement, the two sat down for an interview with BBC’s Mishal Husain. In the interview, Prince Harry said, “the little diamonds on either side are from my mother’s jewelry collection to make sure that she’s with us on this crazy journey together.”
Princess Diana’s Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot Tiara
The Lover’s Knot tiara was originally created for Queen Mary in 1913 from the jewelry company the House of Garrard. The elegant tiara consists of diamonds and a collection of 19 hanging pear-shaped pearls set in silver and gold. It was first handed down to Queen Elizabeth in 1953, which Princess Diana eventually inherited in 1981. The tiara was given to Middleton upon her marriage to Prince William. Middleton first wore her Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot Tiara in December 2013 at the annual diplomatic reception at Buckingham Palace.
Princess Diana’s Aquamarine Ring
Princess Diana received an emerald-cut aquamarine ring from the British jeweler Aspery in 1996 — blue was her favorite color. On May 19, 2018, Markle wore Princess Diana’s ring to her wedding reception, and the world was able to see it as they drove from Windsor Castle to their venue nearby. Markle styled the ring with a bespoke white halter-neck dress from Stella McCartney and wore 18-karat white gold Cartier chandelier earrings.
Princess Diana’s Three-Strand Pearl Bracelet
Princess Diana wore her three-strand pearl bracelet on numerous occasions, but one of the most memorable moments was when she wore it with her Catherine Walker Elvis outfit and the Queen Mary’s Lover’s Knot tiara. When Middleton inherited it, the pearl bracelet made its debut on her during Middleton’s 2017 tour of Germany. On June 11, 2021, Middleton wore the bracelet again with an elegant white ensemble, when she met with world leaders like First Lady Dr. Jill Biden at the G-7 Summit.
Princess Diana’s Diamond Tennis Bracelet
During Markle’s Oprah interview back in March 7, 2021, she wore the late Princess of Wales’ tennis bracelet. The diamond Cartier tennis bracelet was a casual staple accessory for Princess Diana. She liked to style it with her daily attire or with fancy dresses for galas. The last time this timeless bracelet graced her wrist, and was photographed on her, was back in June 1997.
Princess Diana’s Sapphire Earrings
Princess Diana first wore her sapphire Diamond Jubilee earrings, which were a gift from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, at a reception in Brisbane in April 1983. Then, Middleton was given the set from Prince William to match her engagement ring and she wore the pair to Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations in 2012. Since then Middleton has often worn the earrings for various royal engagements.
Princess Diana’s Butterfly Earrings
On Oct. 16, 2018, Markle wore Princess Diana’s butterfly earrings during her first royal tour as Duchess of Sussex in Sydney, Australia. The golden butterflies have blue stones and diamonds and were one of Princess Diana’s go-to pair of earrings for public events. Princess Diana was first spotted wearing the earrings and a matching butterfly necklace on a royal visit to Canada in 1986.
Princess Diana’s Gold & Blue Stone Cuff
Another inherited jewelry piece that Markle wore throughout her first royal tour in 2017 was a delicate gold and blue stone cuff. Princess Diana often wore the cuff for daytime and gala events. Just like the late royal, Markle wore it to one of her first royal gala events at Royal Albert Hall on Jan. 16, 2019.
Princess Diana’s Cartier Watch
One of Markle’s most prized and treasured pieces from Princess Di’s collection is her gold Cartier tank watch. Markle likes to wear the luxe watch while appearing at public events. Most recently, she wore the timepiece for her interview at the Forbes Most Powerful Women Summit and for her Time 100 cover.
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