How Kate Middleton Altered The Engagement Ring That Once Belonged To Diana

It is pretty much impossible to imagine the world famous, 12-carat sapphire engagement ring Prince William gave to Kate Middleton needing to be altered in any way (via Brides). After all, the giant oval-shaped stunner features 14 sparkly diamonds in a halo, and boasts an impressive pedigree, having once belonged to Princess Diana. Her ring was said to have been inspired by a sapphire and diamond brooch Prince Albert gifted Queen Victoria on their wedding day all the way back in 1840 (via Reader's Digest and History Hit). 

Fun fact: Queen Elizabeth now counts the oversized pin as part of her collection of jewelry, according to the Steven Stone Blog.

Meanwhile, the bauble now worn by Kate is also one of the best celebrity engagement rings of all time, according to Vogue, as is Meghan Markle's. Consider that Kate's engagement ring is worth an eye-popping $500,000 (via The Knot). Since the average amount of cash couples shelled out for an engagement ring was less than $4,000 in 2020, well, that is a pretty incredible sum (via Brides).

The engagement ring wouldn't work for Kate as it was

Despite the obvious beauty of Kate's enviable engagement ring, and its storied past, and with William inheriting the gorgeous jewel following his mother's death according to Brides, after the future King of England proposed in Kenya in 2010 — and Kate said "yes" — there was one alteration that absolutely needed to be made on the sapphire stunner, according to Hello! (via Town & Country).

First, it's important to note that Kate could likely not have been any more touched by the gesture of receiving her departed mother-in-law's famous ring, with William saying, "It's my mother's engagement ring. Obviously she's not going to be around to share any of the fun and excitement in all of this, so this is my way of keeping her close to it all" (via Elle). 

But the engagement ring would never work for her the way it was when Diana donned it, and for a very important reason.

The alteration Kate made to the ring was not the first

So what did Kate just have to change about the seemingly-perfect piece of jewelry William gave her upon their betrothal? As Hello! reports, the band of the bauble formerly worn by Princess Diana was a bit too big for the slender Kate, with jeweler G. Collins and Sons taking on the delicate task of resizing the royal ring.

Instead of resoldering the band, the jeweler decided to add small platinum beads inside so the 18-karat-gold ring would better fit William's soon-to-be bride (via Elle).

Meanwhile, Elle notes this is not the first alteration that has ever been performed on the pricey piece of jewelry. It's believed the ring used to feature eight prongs, but it now has 14. Diana may have had the adjustment made to protect the large and very precious stone set inside.

In fact, she treasured the impressive ring so much, royal watchers would see her wearing it long after she and Prince Charles divorced in a contentious parting of ways (via Woman's World).

Meghan Markle also altered her engagement ring

Yes, it may be shocking that Kate altered her engagement ring. But so did her sister-in-law, Meghan. Of course, anyone would have been thrilled to receive the gold trilogy engagement ring Prince Harry gave his love when they became engaged in 2017 (via Hello!). That being said, she too altered her original piece of jewelry, and like Kate, would change the band of the impressive bauble. 

The first iteration of the ring featured a yellow gold band. It's worth noting Brides reports that yellow gold is a big trend for engagement rings in 2021, but Meghan chose to go another route for her ring. As Hello! reports, the Duchess of Sussex altered the band to feature diamonds, pumping up the bling factor on the 6-carat bauble that according to The Knot, is worth an incredible $350,000.

The newly-altered ring was apparently actually Harry's idea, as he also commissioned a conflict-free diamond eternity band for Meghan to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. The new engagement ring was first debuted at the 2019 Queen's Trooping the Colour ceremony, according to Marie Claire, which also reported the band was created to pay homage to the couple and their son, Archie. The trio's birthstones — peridot, emerald, and sapphire — are incorporated on the underside of the band.

So, will she alter her ring again now that baby Lilibet Diana is here? We will be keeping an eye out!