Thanks to her daughters-in-law, we’ve had a real Princess Diana jewelry bonanza on our hands lately, haven’t we? Tuesday night brought another appearance from one of Diana’s gorgeous pieces: her emerald-cut aquamarine ring.
Diana had a small but mighty collection of aquamarines, many of which dated to the years of her royal marriage. One of the last major additions to that grouping of jewels was a gorgeous cocktail ring featuring an emerald-cut aquamarine with diamond accents on the band. The ring, a gift from Lucia Flecha de Lima, was made by Asprey, and it arrived in Diana’s jewelry box around 1996.
That October, she memorably wore the ring with an electric blue Versace gown for a fundraising gala in Sydney, Australia, benefiting the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute. She paired the ring with her horseshoe and laurel earrings (now worn with a different pearl drop by the current Princess of Wales) and a five-stranded pearl bracelet. The bracelet featured two clasps: an aquamarine on one side and a diamond floral clasp on the other.
Here’s a closer view of Diana’s ring, earrings, and bracelet from the October 1996 outing in Sydney.
As far as I know, Diana only wore the aquamarine ring on one other occasion: a pre-auction party celebrating the launch of her famous dress auction at Christie’s in London in June 1997. She wore the ring with a Catherine Walker dress, plus the Qatari Pearl Drop Earrings and a diamond tennis-style bracelet (most recently seen on the Duchess of Sussex).
Diana stacked the aquamarine ring with a diamond band for the party. I’ve seen some people reference the aquamarine as a “divorce” ring, suggesting it was used as a replacement for her famous sapphire engagement ring following her divorce. The truth is that Diana wore both rings, as well as her diamond and emerald ring, after her divorce. She still wore the sapphire ring fairly frequently, including an outing at the Met Gala in December 1996. She famously wore the emerald ring for a birthday appearance at the Tate Gallery in July 1997. She also often wore no rings at all during that final year of her life.
More than two decades later, the aquamarine ring reappeared on Prince Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle. The newly-minted Duchess of Sussex wore the ring on her right hand for their wedding reception in Windsor in May 2018. The emerald-cut ring, with its clean, geometric lines, fit nicely with her sleek reception dress and her modern Cartier earrings.
Here’s a close-up that shows the details of the ring nicely. I’ve seen some try to speculate online that the two rings aren’t the same piece. I would firmly reject that suggestion—I think they’re clearly the same jewel. Most of the speculation I’ve seen seems rooted in personal feelings and opinions about the wearers of the ring rather than in the details of the jewel itself. To my eye, the ring worn by Diana and the ring worn by Meghan are clearly the same piece, down to the diamonds set on either side of the aquamarine itself.
The Duchess of Sussex also wore the ring a few months later, for an official dinner in Tonga in October 2018. On that occasion, she paired the ring with another white gown, plus diamond earrings from Birks and Diana’s diamond bracelet.
And on Tuesday, Meghan wore the ring once more, again pairing it with a white dress. This time, her earrings came from Carolina Herrera.
Here’s another view of the ring from Tuesday’s outing at the Ripple of Hope Gala in New York.
A note: As always, I expect the commentary here to be restricted firmly to jewelry alone. There are plenty of places to talk about the interpersonal drama of the royal family. This isn’t one of them. Please don’t make me waste valuable time (that could be spent writing more about jewelry!) moderating comments that don’t adhere to our standards.