The touching reason Princess Diana wore her engagement ring after her divorce

prince charles princess diana

Kate Middleton's engagement ring is one of the most iconic in the world, having spurned a thousand copies and made us all fall in love with sapphires again. But it's of course famous for another reason, as it used to be Princess Diana's.

Back when she and Prince Charles got engaged in 1981, she broke tradition by choosing the ring from jeweller Garrard's catalogue, rather than having it custom made or wearing a family heirloom.

Diana and Charles sadly separated in 1992, however the late Princess carried on wearing bother her engagement and wedding rings until 1996, which is when the divorce was finalised.

Princess Diana and Prince William at Wimbledon in 1994. Photo: Rex

So she essentially wore them for four years more than she needed to, and it was for a very touching reason: it was out of respect for her sons, according to Mail Online.

Prince William and Prince Harry were only 10 and 9 at the time of the separation, and so she tried to keep appearances up a little, especially during public events.

She even wore them to a visit at Eton college with the boys after the Decree Nisi was finalised, as she knew she would be photographed.

However, two days later, she took them off for a film premiere in London, and made sure she had eye-catching red nails to draw attention to her hands.

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.