Princess Diana’s jewelry collection contains some of the most iconic of all the Royal Family’s precious pieces.
- Princess Diana’s jewelry collection was not only extensive, but incredibly iconic and, following her death, her pieces have been worn by several prominent royals.
- Whether they’ve been inherited outright or simply worn on special occasions, every time Diana’s jewelry is brought out, it never fails to impress.
- In other royal news, Prince William ‘confided’ in these senior royals before Kate Middleton split.
Princess Diana's jewelry was as varied as it was beautiful and she certainly had an eye for style, having re-designed her engagement ring from Prince Charles for a very important reason. Though we will sadly never again see these fabulous jewelry items worn by Princess Diana herself, royal fans often catch glimpses when they’re worn by several prominent royals.
Following her death, Diana was clear about who should inherit her personal collection, though she left the exact division of the individual pieces to them.
Who inherited Princess Diana's jewelry?
Whilst Princess Diana wore several beautiful pieces throughout her time in the Royal Family, many of these were not her personal property and were on loan from the wider royal collection. These included some of her favorite items such as the Lover's Knot Tiara which her daughter-in-law Kate Middleton has since been pictured wearing.
However, this didn’t stop Diana from building up a pretty sizeable collection of gems herself. And after her tragic death in 1997, Diana was very specific about who should inherit her pieces. She wanted her sons Prince William and Prince Harry to inherit her personal jewelry collection.
Though Diana very sadly never got to meet either of her daughter-in-laws, she made this request to her sons, intending for their future wives to wear and/or own them, as William and Harry saw fit.
She is understood to have written a special “letter of wishes” where she left her jewelry to her sons’ future wives.
"I would like you to allocate all my jewelry to the share to be held by my sons, so that their wives may, in due course, have it or use it", the letter stated. "I leave the exact division of the jewelry to your discretion."
What did Kate Middleton inherit from Princess Diana’s jewelry?
Though Princess Diana sadly never got to meet her future daughter-in-law Kate Middleton, she has honored Diana often by wearing some of her most iconic jewelry pieces. Many of these are thought to have been loaned to her for specific occasions, though there is one item in particular that is worn every day. Princess Diana’s dazzling sapphire engagement ring was inherited by Kate Middleton after Prince William used it to propose to her.
This stand-out piece features diamonds surrounding a 12-carat oval sapphire and is Kate’s best-known piece of jewelry. Though it suits Kate wonderfully, it was originally intended for someone else.
Speaking previously on Amazon Prime’s The Diana Story, the Princess of Wales's former butler, Paul Burrell, spoke about how when Diana passed away, her two sons were given the opportunity to keep an item that once belonged to her as a keepsake.
Whilst William chose her Cartier watch, it was Harry who chose her ring, only to give it to his brother to propose with when his relationship with Kate advanced. This special gesture allowed Princess Diana to be included in William and Kate’s proposal and it’s thought he wanted to use this ring for this exact reason.
Coordinating perfectly with this ring are Diana’s sapphire earrings, which it’s believed William also gifted to Kate. Though she has updated the style from the larger style Diana favored, they look wonderful whenever she wears them. Diana is said to have been gifted a set of sapphire and diamond jewelry pieces from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia as a wedding gift.
It's thought that Diana's earrings were part of this set. And while Diana’s sapphire jewelry pieces are certainly iconic, so are her South-Sea pearl earrings.
Kate was pictured wearing these to the BAFTAs in 2019, though it’s not yet known whether she now owns them outright, or borrowed them from the collection for this event.
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These earrings feature a diamond knot design, with a drop pearl, that can reportedly be removed. According to Tatler, the earrings were first worn in public at the Coronation Banquet of Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko of Japan in 1990.
And the pearls don’t stop there! Princess Diana’s three-strand pearl bracelet is another item which Kate has showcased at an important engagement–this time in Germany back in 2017.
Diana's pearl bracelet includes circular diamond spacers which separate the three strands of cultured pearls, making each one even more noticeable. Diana wore this stunning piece on several occasions, including with her Catherine Walker outfit dubbed the 'Elvis Look' in Hong Kong in 1989.
What did Meghan Markle inherit from Princess Diana’s jewelry?
As with Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle inherited some of Princess Diana’s most iconic jewelry items. Perhaps the most sentimental of these was her engagement ring, featuring three beautiful diamonds.
The larger centre stone is understood to come from Botswana–an especially sentimental place for Harry and Meghan who vacationed there prior to their engagement.
Though the ring itself was not Meghan's mother-in-law’s, the two diamonds either side of the centre stone are said to have come from Diana’s tennis bracelet.
So even though Harry selflessly gave his mother’s sapphire ring to William for his future bride, Harry’s wife still gets to honor Diana everyday. And that's not the only ring that Meghan showcased on her wedding day.
Another of Diana's precious pieces was glimpsed on her finger as she made her way to her reception later on in the day and it's thought this one was gifted to her by Harry.
Diana's cocktail ring includes an emerald-cut aquamarine, with two diamonds set either side in perfect balance and a yellow gold band. Meghan has gone on to wear the ring on several occasions since her wedding day, including during her and Harry's tour of Australia and New Zealand in 2018.
Princess Diana reportedly commissioned the piece herself after her divorce from Prince Charles and wore it instead of her engagement ring.
It was also whilst touring Australia and New Zealand that Meghan was spotted wearing a more playful jewelry item. Princess Diana’s yellow gold and diamond butterfly earrings are stunningly stylized and were part of a set that included a necklace. The Princess of Wales wore the earrings on a royal tour of Canada in 1986.
It’s not known whether Meghan now owns these earrings, though some have claimed Harry gifted them to her to mark her pregnancy with Archie. Along with the earrings, Meghan also wore a gold bangle that previously belonged to Diana, which could either have been borrowed or gifted as well.
Princess Diana was seen wearing this open-ended gold bangle on several occasions throughout the 1990s. It features two blue stones at either end and is a very modern, though still iconic, piece of jewelry.
Which other royals inherited Diana's jewelry?
Though Princess Diana’s jewelry was largely left to her son’s wives, these were the pieces from her personal collection and there were many iconic jewelry items royal fans might associate with Diana that have been returned to the Royal Family.
This includes the four-string pearl choker that Diana often borrowed from the Queen for special events. The so-called Japanese Four-Row Pearl Choker is believed to include pearls presented to Her Majesty from the Japanese government. Diana wore the choker to a state banquet in 1982, but more recently, they were loaned to Kate Middleton.
The Duchess of Cambridge was seen wearing these stunning pearls, paying subtle tribute to the Queen at Prince Philip's funeral.
Whilst Kate also wore the famous Lover’s Knot Tiara when attending a state banquet at Buckingham Palace in 2018.
This was reportedly one of Princess Diana’s favorite tiaras to wear when she was loaned it, despite it being so heavy, it’s said to have given her a headache.
The Queen inherited this magnificent piece from Queen Mary, whom it was made for, and though Her Majesty has also worn it, she has not been pictured doing so for many years now.
Despite this, it's lovely to think that those who inherited Princess Diana's most iconic pieces are enjoying them as much as she did.
Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.
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