Prince William's anniversary present to Kate was a touching tribute to Diana

(Image credit: 2014 Mark Cuthbert)

If you look closely at pictures of Kate Middleton, especially those taken in 2014, you'll notice she wears the exact same thing in most of them: the Cartier Ballon Bleu watch.

The piece of jewellery was a present from Prince William to celebrate the couple's third wedding anniversary, but beyond that, it has another significant meaning.

kate meghan inherited diana

Princess Diana use to own a Cartier Tank Francaise watch, which was a present from her father, John Spencer, and she was frequently spotted wearing it in the months leading up to her death (perhaps to replace the one she was wearing in that famous two watches picture).

(Image credit: 2018 Max Mumby/Indigo)

It was one of Prince William's favourite pieces from his mother's collection, and he kept it as a memento. He has another special connection to the brand, as Princess Diana apparently bought him a Cartier watch of his own, which she had engraved for his birthday.

With Cartier so sentimental to him, it was an extra thoughtful gift to his wife. He also went the extra mile by adding a sapphire to the frame of the watch, so it would match Catherine's engagement ring, which of course used to belong to Princess Diana.

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.