Something old, something new, something borrowed… Now THIS is “something blue!” Prince Charles purchased a 12-carat oval sapphire surrounded by 14 rounds of diamonds set in an 18k white gold band from Garrard Jewelers. (Fun Fact: Garrard Jewelers prides itself on being the world’s oldest jewelers since 1722.) The ring was purchased for his future bride, whom we all know was Princess Diana. The original purchase price was £28,500 [about $40,000 in 1981] but now that it is connected to the royals, the ring is currently valued at £250,000 [about $416,000 in 2011]. William said that his mother’s engagement ring was very special to him, just as Kate is, and that it was right that the two were put together in a way in which his mother wouldn’t miss out on their special day, and the rest of their lives together. William told ITV, “I had been carrying it around in my rucksack for about three weeks before the proposal. Everywhere I went, I was keeping ahold of it, cause I knew if this thing disappeared, I’d be in a lot of trouble.” Catherine won’t be overshadowed by Diana’s legacy, and sure isn’t trying to fill any shoes. Since Prince William’s younger brother Harry had inherited the ring, and he gifted it to his brother, it now has a special bond between all the members of William’s immediate family. Catherine is her own person who wears the ring beautifully and elegantly, in a wonderful tribute to her husband’s mother.
Today Kate Middleton went from college girlfriend to Princess Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge. This philanthropic, down-to-earth, educated, true British beauty deserves any royal title she’s given. She has graced the world with the most regal and elegant gown in the history of royal weddings. When Catherine descended her chariot (a Rolls Royce), the female newscasters all said the same thing, “Her dress looks very much like Grace Kelly’s.” Although the dresses have the same theme with the high collar and long sleeves done in lace, there was something about the people’s Kate that stood out amongst all the former brides. The mystery behind the dress’s designer was one of the best-kept secrets in British history! Sarah Burton, the creative director for the late Alexander McQueen, earned an art foundation diploma at Manchester Polytechnic before interning for McQueen during her third year at Central St. Martins (where McQueen also attended school) studying print fashion in London. Burton graduated in ’97 and became McQueen’s protégé after school. Catherine’s dress was fitted at the waistline and accompanied by a nine-foot train in a striking yet subtle floral embroidered pattern that continued to the front. The bodice was a sweetheart bustier shape kept under long lace sleeves and extending collar. The little peek-a-boo of skin at the neck was the perfect accent to looking modern and tasteful. Catherine was definitely a “veil bride” versus a “hair bride” by keeping her chocolate tresses down in soft curls as she normally does, and put the attention on a soft, mantilla-styled headdress with lace piping and of course the Cartier platinum tiara. The tiara was made in 1936 and bought by Prince William’s great-grandfather, King George VI, for William’s great-grandmother. Queen Elizabeth was then given the tiara on her 18th birthday by her mother and lent it to the new Princess for her special day. Catherine’s maid of honor, her sister Pippa, also donned a custom Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen ivory gown. Both the bride and the maid of honor wore earrings made by Robinson Pelham. Catherine’s earrings were a wedding gift from her parents and were made to look like her family’s new coat of arms. They had pave-set diamond acorns in the center of pear-shaped diamond drops. Pippa wore floral diamond earrings with a coordinating headpiece. Hopefully future brides take cues from the Duchess of Cambridge, instead of the horrible Bridezillas we see so much of. Catherine’s equation to being a stunning bride: softness, sophistication, subtly, and all smiles!