Throughout her marriage to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle has found subtle and touching ways to make Princess Diana part of their royal history. One of the most effective ways Meghan has been able to achieve this is by wearing jewelry from Diana’s collection.
After Diana’s tragic death at the age of 36 in a car accident in Paris in 1997, her jewelry was inherited by her two sons, Prince William and Prince Harry. The glittering pieces collected by Diana throughout her married life held enormous sentimental value for the princess and princes.
The jewelry was not seen publicly until Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton in 2010 with the sapphire and diamond engagement ring belonging to her mother. According to reports, after Diana’s death, each of her sons chose a particular heirloom from their jewelry collection.
Prince William reportedly chose his mother’s Cartier watch and Prince Harry the sapphire engagement ring.
The fact that Harry gave the ring to William to propose to Kate, highlights the importance Harry himself places on his mother’s jewelry. It’s no surprise the time has come for him to propose to Meghan to do just that with a ring he designed to incorporate two diamonds once worn by Diana.
Here are just five of the occasions Meghan has kept Diana and Harry close through jewelry over their four years of marriage.
The engagement ring
When Harry proposed to Meghan in 2018 at the couple’s home, Nottingham Cottage at Kensington Palace, he did so with a very special ring. The design had been influenced by Harry himself and incorporated three very special diamonds. The center stone came from Botswana, a country dear to the prince, and the other two diamonds came from his mother’s collection.
Meghan, in her interview marking the engagement, called the ring “amazing” and said: “I think everything about Harry’s thoughtfulness and obviously the inclusion of [Diana] and not being able to meet his mother. It’s so important to me to know that she’s a part of that with us.”
On Harry and Meghan’s wedding night, the bride was seen wearing an aquamarine cocktail ring that had belonged to Diana. The moving tribute on their special day was highlighted by Meghan when she was seen being driven in an open-top car by Harry to the reception hosted at Frogmore House by Prince Charles.
Diana was known to love the combination of aquamarine and diamonds and wore the ring in the last years of her life. Most notably, Diana wore the ring to a preview of the 1997 Christie’s auction of her dresses. Meghan then wore the ring again during a royal tour of Tonga in 2018.
First worn by Diana in the 1980s, the diamond and sapphire butterfly earrings symbolized the princess’ playful relationship with her jewelry. During a royal visit to Australia in 2018, Meghan wore her mother-in-law’s earrings which showed off her stunning Karen Gee dress. The tour was notable for many reasons, one of them being that it came directly after it was announced that Meghan was expecting her first child.
The provenance of the earrings is unknown, but Princess Diana wore them frequently during the early years of her marriage.
Diamond tennis bracelet
As Diana’s taste for fashion matured in the 1990s, her taste for jewelry also increased. Towards the end of her life, Diana began to wear an elegant and very fashionable tennis bracelet made of a row of brilliant diamonds. Diana was pictured wearing the bracelet at a preview of her 1997 Christie’s dress auction in London.
Meghan has worn this bracelet on a limited number of occasions and it is speculated that the diamonds in her engagement ring were removed from the links of the bracelet. Perhaps the most significant occasion that Meghan wore this bracelet was during her 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey during which allegations of racism and negligence towards her were filed against members of the royal family and of the House.
Gold and Blue Stone Bracelet
Diana’s interest in jewelry existed beyond dazzling high value stones and she collected many costume pieces and commercial jewelry in the form of earrings and cuffs. There were, of course, exceptions to this, with some of the princess’s jewelery worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. One of Diana’s favorite pieces was a broken gold bracelet with two large cabochon sapphires marking either end. The sapphires were enhanced by bars of small diamonds and Diana wore it throughout her marriage to Prince Charles.
Meghan has been seen wearing this bracelet numerous times since her wedding and most recently it featured in a wider tribute to Diana’s style. To accept the NAACP President’s Award in February, Meghan wore a Christopher John Rogers blue evening dress in a silhouette reminiscent of a dress worn by Diana during a visit to Thailand in 1988. Meghan paired the blue Ombre dress with the sapphire crystal and the gold bracelet in a touching tribute to her mother-in-law.