Wednesday, February 24, 2021

That most famous engagement ring and a few stories about it

Forty years ago today! On February 24, 1981, Prince Charles presented his future bride to the press. They had just gotten engaged 21 days prior and Diana, all of 19 years old, and hidden away from the world in her aristocratic life, didn't realize what she was getting herself into. 

For their engagement announcement, the future Princess of Wales wore an inexpensive off-the-rack dress from Harrod's and one relatively affordable sapphire ring from the engagement rings collection of the Garrard holiday catalog. Yes, not a jewel from the royal collection because Charles couldn't even be bothered to commission a special ring just for her. That sapphire ring was just £47,000, or $60,000 today. Not even the Kardashians will wear that!

With Camilla, his then-mistress and now-wife, he thoughtfully customized a ring to reflect the Art Deco design he and Camilla like. He chose a special family heirloom diamond that belonged to the most special woman in his life, the Queen Mother.

Diana had a ring from a catalog. Oh, Diana. 

To be fair to Charles, he has always liked the huge sapphire brooch that belonged to the ladies in his family. A century and forty-one years before he proposed to Diana, another Prince gave his bride a sapphire. On the eve of their wedding day, Prince Albert presented to Queen Victoria a brooch that was a huge deep blue sapphire surrounded by diamonds. She loved it so much, she wore it on her bridal gown as her "something blue." 

In fact, Victoria loved it sooo much, she declared the brooch as a Crown Heirloom piece. That means only future Queens can wear it. So far, we haven't seen Camilla or Catherine wear it. Diana never got to wear that brooch either. That must mean it's an extra special piece for the Queen!

Anyway, back to Charles. So he liked that extra special brooch his mother loved. It's said Diana's extraordinarily blue eyes reminded him of that particular sapphire brooch so he thought the Garrard ring was perfect for her. So I guess that's romantic, too.

Diana's eyes look exactly like her famous ring.

It's so sad how that marriage went. So sad that sapphires symbolize faithfulness but, as Diana famously said, "There are three of us in this marriage so it's a bit crowded."

Nevertheless, I always wanted her exact ring for my own engagement ring. I told Vince about this but he replied that it was a bad luck ring. "Look at what happened to that marriage," he pointed out. So he gave me a diamond. And I bought myself the ring I wanted.  

I actually like it better, that I bought it myself. It's more meaningful because I bought it as a Diana fan haha There's no romantic love involved at all. Just like Charles and Diana's marriage haha huhu

No, no, that's not true. For a while, they were happy. Look at these photos I found on Diana fan accounts on Instagram:

Holding hands while whispering sweet nothings
Despite all their worries about the wedding, happy to meet at the altar
Honeymoon! Diana's pregnant here.
Touches, looks, and smiles
Charles said he's always loved Diana's humor. She always made him laugh.

I found more actually! Fellow royal fans love tagging me on Diana posts on IG! I'll share more soon. 

Sigh. I loved Diana and Charles together. I really wanted that fairy tale to end in happily ever after. And it could've, in a way, if fate hadn't intervened. After they divorced, they actually got along better. Charles would visit her for tea, for example. How strange. Maybe some people are better off as friends. It's always sad when marriages end. But if a friendship happens after, then that's also a beautiful thing. Too bad Diana died just one year after her divorce. Who knows? Maybe she and Charles could've gotten back together? At the very least, they could've been great at this co-parenting thing. Oh well. We'll never know.

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