BESPOKE DESIGN: ROYAL LADIES WHO HAVE UPDATED THEIR JEWELLERY
This month has seen much controversy over Meghan Markle’s decision to update her engagement ring. The original three stone diamond ring had been a bespoke design curated by Prince Harry, and even included two diamonds that had previously belonged to his late mother, Princess Diana.
Meghan’s updated engagement ring had some very subtle changes, which you could have easily missed. The band of the ring is much daintier now than it was before, and has had additional pave-set diamonds added along the shoulders. These slight changes have given her engagement ring a much more modern feel and kept the sentimental three stone diamonds as they were before.
Whilst many were quick to criticise Meghan’s amendments to the design, you might be shocked to know that she is definitely not the first member of royalty to redesign their family heirlooms.
The stunning sapphire and diamond cluster ring which Prince Charles originally proposed to Diana with has become arguably one of the most iconic pieces of jewellery in recent times. Chosen by Princess Diana herself, the ring was estimated to be worth around £28,000 at the time. You can clearly see that the original ring only had 8 claws, two on each corner of the gemstone. However years later additional claws were added, presumably to make the centre stone more secure. Though today the ring would be considered priceless because of it’s history within the Royal Family, it’s true value would be somewhere around £300,000!
PRINCESS MARY OF DENMARK
When Prince Frederik of Denmark proposed in autumn 2003, he chose a stunning diamond and ruby three stone ring that matched the national colours of Denmark. The ring was truly striking as it was, but Princess Mary later decided to add an additional two diamonds to the ring turning it from a three stone into a five stone design!
American actress Grace Kelly was originally proposed to with a ruby and diamond eternity ring by Cartier. But Prince Rainier III of Monaco wanted her to have something even more spectacular, so he bought her another three stone ring from Cartier. The showstopping ring featured a 12 carat diamond flanked by two baguette cut diamonds – that certainly was an incredible upgrade!
THE COUNTESS OF WESSEX
On her wedding day to Prince Edward, The Countess of Wessex wore the ‘Anthemion’ tiara from the Queen’s private collection. Two decades later the she wore the tiara again at the Buckingham Palace state banquet to welcome the President of the United States, but the tiara looked decidedly different. The Countess has worn the headpiece on a number of occasions since her wedding day, but this is the first time the tiara has been seen since it was rearranged.
THE DUCHESS OF CAMBRIDGE
Princess Diana was often seen wearing a pair of sapphire and diamond cluster earrings, which perfectly matched her striking engagement ring. So it makes sense that now the same sapphire ring belongs to Kate, that she too would wear the earrings. Kate Middleton did make a slight alteration to the design though, removing some of the gemstones to create a more subtle pair of drop earrings.
QUEEN MARY’S LOVER’S KNOT TIARA
The Lover’s Knot tiara has been worn by many royals, including Princess Diana and Kate Middleton. Though you can see that Queen Mary’s original version featured upright pearls adorning the top of the tiara, a feature that is now missing from the headpiece on it’s more recent outings.
THE DUCHESS OF CORNWALL
The Duchess of Cornwall’s Delhi Durbar tiara was loaned to her by her mother-in-law the Queen. The crown was originally worn by Queen Mary in celebration of her husband King George V’s coronation in Dheli. The tiara was originally adorned with cabochon emeralds along the top, but it seems that the design was updated to remove those gemstones, in favor of an all diamond design.