The Reason Princess Diana's Engagement Ring Was So Much More Controversial Than Camilla's

After her death, Princess Diana's engagement ring still made public appearances, sometimes at conferences, at flower shows and in National Portrait Gallery exhibitions. The 12-carat oval blue sapphire, surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds and set in 18K white gold, was passed on to the late Princess' daughter-in-law, Kate Middleton, who wears it often and with polish.

In 2010, Prince William talked about why he wanted it to be Kate's engagement ring, "It's my mother's engagement ring, and it's very special to me, as Kate is very special to me now as well. It was only right the two were put together." He told British news channel ITV, "Obviously, she's not really around to share in the fun and excitement of all this, so this is my way of keeping her sort of close to it all."

Now, the ring is described as an iconic piece of jewelry, with too many imitations to count. However, when it was first worn by Princess Diana, there were more controversies than diamonds surrounding it. And after 2005, many compared Prince Charles' second wife's, the Duchess of Cornwall, engagement ring to it as well. Read on to know why the Duchess of Cornwall's ring didn't take up as much tabloid space.

Princess Diana's ring broke tradition

Prince Charles went to British jeweler Garrard to pick out a few rings for Princess Diana to choose from, and the blue sapphire ring was one of them. The ring was said to resemble a brooch that Prince Albert had commissioned Garrard to make for Queen Victoria, which she wore on her wedding day. The creative director of Garrard, Sara Prentice told Vogue that it "was said to be a strong influence on Prince Charles when he came to Garrard to purchase a ring for Lady Diana."

Despite the royal connection, the ring was scrutinized and criticized by the royal family for not being a bespoke creation, according to Elle. The ring was technically available for anyone to purchase from Garrard's catalog and traditionalists found it unworthy of the engagement.

The Duchess of Cornwall's engagement ring adhered to tradition, in that sense."The Queen Mother was first seen wearing the royal jewel in the 1980s after receiving it from King George VI," Maxwell Stone of Steven Stone told Express. He continued, saying that Camilla's emerald-cut diamond surrounded by diamond baguettes "is traditional, while Diana's sapphire ring is bold and broke royal tradition at the time ... Now, as Kate Middleton has inherited Diana's ring, it's become a new royal heirloom in its own right."