The Incredible Story Behind Meghan's Gigantic Ring From Princess Diana

Updated 05/01/19

As if the slinky halter-neck Stella McCartney gown, nifty sports car and a rather dashing prince in a velvet tuxedo weren't enough to extend our gawps until at least 2 p.m. tomorrow, Ms. Meghan Markle just piqued our interest even further en route to the wedding reception by waving an enormous emerald cut aquamarine and diamond ring into view—a ring so mighty that not only could it warrant its own postcode, but it is also important enough to lay claim to its own heartwarming royal tale.

This beautiful whopper of a gem was first owned by Diana, Princess of Wales. It was custom-made following her 1996 divorce from Prince Charles: She felt it inappropriate to still wear the original sapphire ring from Garrard and commissioned an alternative to better suit her tastes at the time. “She always chose diamond jewelry that was meaningful to her—she was very intentional with her jewelry choices and made sure they were the best representation of those meaningful moments,” Grant Mobley, a gemologist and director at Pluczenik, tells The Express, estimating that one would expect to pay around the $100,000 today for such a unique creation.

Getty Images
Getty Images

As many of you may recall following Diana's untimely death, the icon had requested that three quarters of her $28 milion estate and her personal jewelry collection was to be put aside for her boys, Harry and William, to inherit. Her wish was for the sons to save these heirloom pieces for their future wives—and they have dutifully followed. Harry originally chose a sapphire ring and William opted for a Cartier watch, however when William was set to propose to Kate Middleton, the younger brother stepped up as the sweet sibling we'd always imagined him to be and offered to do a swap.

That means Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, owns the $404,000 12-carat sapphire-and–diamond cluster ring while Harry used some diamonds from a brooch of Diana's in order to sandwich a Botswanan jewel for Meghan's engagement ring. In addition to those diamonds, it would now appear that this aquamarine ring—photographed above on Diana almost exactly 20 years ago—will also be adopted by the new Duchess of Sussex.

Getty Images
Getty Images

With Meghan surely kick-starting a trend for simpler, lace-free bridal gowns, could we also be looking at a rise in requests for colored (and/or square, Art Deco–style) stones in wedding and engagement rings? Our gut feeling says yes—especially when you look at how that blue pops against her elegant white maxi. 

Shop aquamarine rings inspired by Meghan and Diana below:

Beaverbrooks 18ct White Gold Diamond Aquamarine Halo Ring $2357
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A bit more affordable…

Olivia Grace Aquamarine Cocktail Ring $21200
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Such an incredible hue.

Bulgari Le Magnifiche Creazioni (price on request)

EWA 18ct White Gold Diamond Shoulder Cocktail Ring, Aquamarine $2283
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Pure and simple.

Anabela Chan Aquamarine Lilac 18K Gold Multi-Stone Ring $2085
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For girls who can't quite do minimalism.

Boodles 'Malham Rock' Aquamarine Cushion Ring (price on request)

Emerald-Cut Aquamarine Ring with Tsavorites & Diamonds
Alexander Laut Emerald-Cut Aquamarine Ring with Tsavorites & Diamonds $30500
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18k gold ring with aquamarine and diamond
Jessie Western 18k Gold Ring with Aquamarine and Diamond $6871
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Aquamarine & Diamond Ring in 14K White Gold - 100% Exclusive
Bloomingdale's Aquamarine & Diamond Ring in 14K White Gold $2300 $1150
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14K Yellow Gold Wire Ring with Stacked Aquamarine and Diamond - 100% Exclusive
Zoe Chicco 14K Yellow Gold Wire Ring with Stacked Aquamarine and Diamond $350
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Congratulations, Meghan and Harry!

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