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Remembering Diana and her Legacy

collector-dianaWith every passing event that puts the spotlight on Diana's two sons William and Harry – whether it was the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, Prince Harry working with children in Lesotho or more recently the birth of little Prince George, we remember their mother Diana with fondness and a touch of sadness for a life taken in her prime.

For so many of us, Diana had become the jewel shining radiantly in our lives. As she said quite often "All the jewels in the world could not shine if you as a person did not shine." And shine she did – as only Diana could. We all remember the famous wedding - a fairy tale that unfolded before our eyes as Diana emerged from the Royal carriage looking every inch the fairytale princess. There was a vulnerability in the young 19 year old who was thrust into the limelight and had to endure the glare of the world as she tried so valiantly to fit into her 'royal' role.


It was not for nothing that she was known as the "princess of the people" managing to fulfill her role as a royal against great odds whilst all the time determined to be as down-to-earth and accessible as possible and making sure her boys did the same. There is no question she would be so proud of both her sons who have followed in her footsteps and inherited her ability to be both regal and humane. Sixteen years after her tragic death on August 31 1997, when the Mercedes she was travelling in crashed into a concrete wall in a Paris tunnel, "Lady Di" remains an icon in the eyes of millions in the UK and around the world. Looking back at her legacy, it seems she was not only the most endearing member of the royal family, but also a woman who truly brought a refreshing change to Buckingham Palace and to the world's perception of 'royalty'. 

 

PRINCESS DIANA – HER LIFE IN JEWELS
"JEWELLERY IS FUN AND WE ALL NEED A BIT OF FUN IN OUR LIVES!" Diana Princess of Wales

 

The British royal family possesses one of the most spectacular and valuable - collection of diamonds, gems, and ornaments in the world. Although Diana was given many of these price- less jewels, she rarely, if ever, appeared in any of the breathtaking jewels she could have had access to, and when she did, she managed to make them her own – often combining elements from one piece of jewellery into another or wearing jewellery in non-traditional ways – like the time she wore Queen Mary's emerald choker as a headband during a 1985 trip to Australia. Diana's appearance, like her demeanor, was consistently tasteful, classic without being flashy, and always perfectly suited to the setting. Whether touring the mine fields of Africa, with local youths in London, or at a royal reception at Buckingham Palace - she knew exactly how to put on the perfect look.


PRINCESS DIANA'S LIFE THROUGH HER JEWELLERY WAS RECENTLY SHOWCASED IN LONDON AND INCLUDES SOME MEMORABLE PIECES.

 

THE ENGAGEMENT RING:

Listed as one of the top 25 most valuable jew- els in the world, Princess Diana's engagement ring was personally chosen by Diana from a selection presented to her by Garrard Jewelers, making it an unusual royal choice because anyone could purchase it from the Garrard catalogue at the time. The large, oval 12 carat sapphire surrounded by a cluster of 14 diamonds set in 18 carat white gold is now proudly worn by Diana's daughter-in-law Kate Middleton. When William gave it to Kate he stated, "It's very special to me. As Kate's very special to me now, it was right to put the two together. It was my way of making sure my mother didn't miss out on today and the excitement, and the fact that we're going to spend the rest of our lives together.'

 

OLD WEAVE BRACELET & GOLD WATCH:

Prince Charles gave Diana many pieces of jewellery, including the a gold watch and match- ing gold weave bracelet. Both were birthday gifts for the Princess.

 

SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND CLUSTER EARRINGS:

Once of Princess Diana's favourite pieces were earrings made of a single oval sapphire surrounded by 10 round diamonds. She wore them on many occasions including the official birth photos of Prince Harry in 1984, and in May of 1988. Recently, William gave these earrings to his wife Catherine who opted to remodel the studs into drop earrings. The Duchess of Cambridge wore them for the first time at a tennis match in Wimbledon in June 2011. She also wore them during the couple's first official visit to North America in July 2011.

 

ART DECO EMERALD AND DIAMOND CHOKER:

A wedding gift from the Queen to Diana, the magnificent Art Deco emerald and diamond choker was worn by Diana on countless occasions including a charity concert in 1982 and a banquet in London held by the King of Malaysia in November 1993. The most famous wearing of this piece was in October 1985 in Melbourne, Australia when Diana wore the choker as a headband. This choker remains one of the most admired and adored pieces of jewellery of all time.

 

SEVEN-STRAND DIAMOND AND SAPPHIRE PEARL CHOKER:

Recently referred to as "the seven-strand pearl choker that stunned the world", this large sapphire surrounded by two rows of diamonds was originally a brooch given to Diana as a wedding gift by the Queen Mother. Diana wore it as a brooch on only two occasions before she decided to turn it into a choker. Pearls, along with sapphires, were some of Diana's favorite jewels. She wore this on countless occasions including to a visit at the White House in November 1985 (when she danced with John Travolta) in April 1986, and in New York in 1995 when she presented the CFDA Council of Fashion Awards. She also wore it with her famous black 'revenge' dress.

 

CHARM BRACELET:

Diana received this bracelet as a gift from Prince Charles. For the first 10 years of their marriage, Charles gave Diana a different charm to add to the bracelet. He gave her a "W" in 1982 for William's birth and an "H" in 1984 for Harry's birth. Other charms he gave her included a pair of ballet shoes because of her love of ballet and her dream of being a dancer, a tennis racket because tennis was her favorite sport, a polo cap representing her love of polo, a miniature St. Paul's Cathedral to represent where they were married, a teddy bear because of her love of them, an apple for her love of Manhattan, and a pig which was most likely a private joke. Diana rarely or never wore this bracelet in public because it was a precious reminder to her of the good times in their marriage.


DIAMOND FLOWER BROOCH:

Diana inherited a Diamond Flower Brooch from her friend Adrian Ward-Jackson. She wore it with the 'Thailand gown' at a reception at Buckingham Palace in July 1991.

 

SAUDI ARABIAN DIAMONDS AND SAPPHIRE SUITE:

The Princess received this magnificent set of jewellery from the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia as a wedding gift. The set includes a sapphire and diamond pendant suspended on a dia- mond tennis necklace, matching earrings, a ring, bracelet, and watch. The jewels came in a green malachite box decorated with a palm tree and crossed swords. Of the set, Diana preferred the necklace and earrings and occasionally wore the bracelet, including to a State reception in Australia in April 1983 and also when visiting Melbourne, Australia in January 1988. She sub- sequently used stones from the watch and ring to make a completely new set of jewellery.


BLACK BOW AND DANGLE EARRINGS:

These drop earrings from Butler and Wilson are from Diana's paste collection and are cut in colored crystal. There were many pairs of heart shaped earrings in Diana's collection. This pair has a small central heart surrounded by paste diamonds. Diana wore these in Canada in May 1986 and also in Spain in 1987.

 

RUBY SAPPHIRE PEARL EARRINGS:

One of the more unusual pair of earrings Diana owned had an interesting twist in that one ear- ring had an oval ruby with a pearl and the other had an oval sapphire with a pearl. Ruby stones (which were Diana's Cancerian birthstone) held the pearl drops on both earrings. Diana wore these during her tour of South Korea in November 1992.


TRIPLE STRAND PEARL CHOKER WITH PEARL FLOWER CLUSTER CLASP:

This pearl choker was a present from the Spencer family to Diana on her 18th birthday. It was made of three rows of pearls with a turquoise and pearl cluster clasp. Diana wore the clasp in the front to matched an outfit. She altered the clasp at one point to be all pearls. Diana wore this choker on many occasions, including in April 1983.

 

diamondDIAMOND ETERNITY BAND:

As the time of her courtship, Diana wore a diamond eternity band on her right hand. She was seen wearing the ring around the time of her engagement.


SPENCER TIARA:

A family heirloom, the Spencer tiara was not the standard royal family tiara as it was more curved and had floral details. The tiara belonged to the Spencer family and was made up of different inherited pieces from the family dating back to Victorian times. It entered Diana's branch of the family when it was given to Cynthia, Vis-countess Althorp by Lady Sarah Spencer as a wedding gift in 1919. Remodeled in1935, Princess Diana was lent this tiara to wear on her wedding day and she continued to wear it throughout her time as Princess of Wales. The Spencer tiara was reportedly Diana's favorite. The Spencer family still owned it during this time in Diana's life, so it was also worn by her sister-in-law, Victoria Lock- wood, when she married Diana's brother Earl Spencer in 1989. The tiara is now back with the Spencer family.

 

'D" NECKLACE:

When it was speculated that Diana was dat- ing Prince Charles, photographs of her show her wearing a yellow gold "D" necklance. She wore it mostly when she was quite young, during the early years of her and Charles' relationship and in later years wore it as more of a choker as shown during a polo match in 1985.

 

"SWAN LAKE" DIAMOND AND PEARL SET:

This beautiful necklace was designed in the spring of 1997 by Garrard, the Crown Jewelers, with the assistance of Diana. A brilliant cut diamond and marquise diamond scroll motif center with a South Sea cultured pearl and mar- quise diamond fringe drop, Diana wore this to the royal gala performance of "Swan Lake" at the Royal Albert Hall on June 3, 1997—her last official engagement before her death . After the performance, Diana returned the necklace to Garrard for them to make a matching pair of ear- rings, but she never got to wear the complete set. The complete set has since gone up for auction.

 

diana-necklace13TH/18TH ROYAL HUSSARS PIN:

Princess Diana became a Colonel-in-chief of the 13th/18th Royal Hussars in April of 1989. She wore this regimental pin as she posed for an official portrait painting in May 1990. She also wore this pin when she attended the Gulf War victory parade in London on June 21, 1991.

 

18 CARAT GOLD CARTIER TANK FRANC?AISE WATCH:

After her divorce from Prince Charles, Diana was often seen wearing the 18 carat Gold Cartier Tank Franc?aise Watch which was a gift from her father. After Diana's death, Prince William and Prince Harry were allowed to walk through her Kensington Palace apartment to pick out mementos of their mother to take with them. Among many other things, Prince Harry chose her sapphire and diamond engagement ring while Prince William chose this watch.

 

SAPPHIRE CABOCHON RING:

Diana had a sapphire cabochon ring but wore in only once – at Christmas in 1982 at Kensington Palace where she was photographed with baby Prince Willian.

 


OMAN SUITE:

The Oman Suite of jewels, made up of a diamond necklace, diamond earrings and a diamond bracelet was given to Diana by the Sultan of Oman during the couple's visit to Oman in November 1986. She wore this suite numerous other times, including during a trip to Sydney, Australia..

 

CAMBRIDGE LOVER'S KNOT TIARA:

This crown consists of pearls that hang from 19 diamond arches capped with lover's knots. The piece was composed with existing jewels that Queen Mary had in her collection. This tiara originated in 1913/1914 when it was commissioned from Garrard by Queen Mary. She modeled it from a tiara owned by her grand- mother, Princess Augusta of Hesse. After Mary died in 1953, the tiara was passed to Queen Elizabeth II who wore it regularly throughout the 1950s. The crown, however, went back into storage until the marriage of Prince Charles to Lady Diana Spencer. Queen Elizabeth gave the lover's knot tiara to Princess Diana as a wedding gift in 1981. Diana found this crown to be quite heavy, so she often opted to wear her family's Spencer Tiara instead. After Diana's divorce from Prince Charles in 1996, the lover's knot tiara was returned to the queen.

 

DOUBLE-STRAND PEARL NECKLACE:

Diana wore this long, double strand pearl neck- lace with a beautiful black lace off-the-shoulder gown in at a formal visit in 1987 in Hamburg, West Germany.

 

THE MOVIE DIANA SET TO IMMORTALIZE HER LEGACY

With a new movie on the Princess in the making, we wait with anticipation for actress Naomi Watts to set the screen ablaze as she plays the role of a lifetime – that of everyone's favourite Princess – Princess Diana!


Naomi Watts will dazzle the silver screen wear- ing none other than jewelry by the celebrity favorite brand Chopard. Australian actress Naomi Watts seems to be the perfect actress to land this coveted role- her classic beauty and charm along with the dazzling diamonds of Chopard will undoubtedly capture the elegance of Princess Diana. Chopard's Official Jeweller was thrilled to be asked to collaborate on providing jewellery for the movie. "From the first reading of the Diana script, I realized that I was going to need magnificent jewelry. When the opportunity arose to work with Chopard, I knew that this was going to be possible," Day explained in a release of the perfect partnership. Some of the final pieces selected for the film include a white diamond necklace set in platinum, grey cultured pearl drop earrings set in white diamond pave and 18-karat white gold, a brilliant-cut white diamond face watch featuring a black satin strap and floating diamond earrings.

 

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