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Camila Redesigned Diana's $129K Jewelry Wedding Gift That She Had Worn Close to Her Heart, Reports Said

Gracious Egedegbe
Apr 26, 2022
10:21 A.M.
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Camila Shand, the Duchess of Cornwall, has been subjected to some backlash from royal fans after she redesigned Princess Diana's wedding gift and appeared in public with it. Continue reading to know what the royal fans said about it.

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The Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, and his late ex-wife, Princess Diana, had one of the most controversial marriages. Although the pair were married for 15 years, their union was doomed from the beginning.

In due time, the public found out that Prince Charles and Princess Diana's divorce was tied to the former's affair with Camilla Shand, the Duchess of Cornwall.

The Prince and Duchess met in 1970 and started a romance that continued till the former was ready to tie the knot. Unfortunately, as much as Prince Charles could wish it, he could not marry the Duchess. 

Shand was not deemed fit for the role of a royal wife due to her lack of aristocratic bloodline. In addition, she was not considered "virginal" enough to be Prince Charles' wife.

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Princess Diana and Prince Charles in London, U.K. on February 24, 1981 | Source: Getty Images

However, the pair still maintained their close bond, and after the Prince married Princess Diana, they rekindled their romance. Despite being married, Shand was still Charles's number one. 

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Eventually, they would walk down the aisle, and the Prince made sure to give his longtime love the best, including Princess Diana's wedding gift piece. Here are more details of everything that happened between Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and Camilla Shand.

CHARLES GAVE A PRESENT TO CAMILLA TWO DAYS BEFORE HIS AND DIANA'S WEDDING 

Princess Diana And Prince Charles At Guards Polo Club At Smith's Lawn on July 24, 1983 | Source: Getty Images

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Two days before Prince Charles and Princess Diana tied the knot, the Prince of Wales gifted Shand with a beautiful bracelet. Surprisingly, the Princess revealed that she knew about the gift two weeks before the wedding. According to Princess Diana, someone in the office had informed her about the gold chain bracelet.

The jewelry piece had a blue enamel disc with the inscriptions "G and F" (Gladys and Fred) intertwined in it — Prince Charles and Shand's nicknames. Princess Diana confessed that when she finally saw the parcel containing the gift, she was torn apart. In her words:

"I was devastated. He'd found the virgin, the sacrificial lamb, and in a way, he was obsessed with me. But it was hot and cold, hot and cold."

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Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall look at eachother as they reopen the newly-renovated Edwardian community hall The Strand Hall during day three of a visit to Wales on July 4, 2018 in Builth Wells, Wales | Source: Getty Images

During lunchtime that same day, Prince Charles took the bracelet to present to Shand, and at that point, Princess Diana was heartbroken and confided in her sisters, noting that she would not marry the Prince. 

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"So I went upstairs, had lunch with my sisters who were there and said: 'I can't marry him, I can't do this, this is absolutely unbelievable,'" Princess Diana explained. However, two days later, on a Wednesday, Prince Charles and Princess Diana got married.

DIANA'S WEDDING GIFT 

Princess Diana, visit Vienna, Austria, at a gala performance of 'Love For Love' at the Vienna Burgh Theatre on April 14, 1986 | Source: Getty Images

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Princess Diana's 1981 wedding enchanted the world, and she received many presents. But the stunning diamond brooch she received from Queen Elizabeth II stood out.

The jewelry piece, known as "Prince of Wales' Feathers Brooch," was first handed to Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863. The Ladies of North Wales had gifted Princess Alexandra the jewelry before her wedding to King Edward VII. 

Princess Diana And Prince Charles attending a state banquet held by the King of Morocco at Claridges Hotel, London, circa 1987 | Source: Getty Images

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The stunning necklace features 18 diamonds with small emeralds, encircling the Prince of Wales Ostrich Feathers, composed of small diamonds. 

The brooch was passed down from Princess Alexandra to other members of the Royal Family till it got to Queen Elizabeth II and then Princess Diana. 

Princess Diana attends a Banquet, during The Italian State visit to the UK, in London, on October 25, 1990 in London, United Kingdom | Source: Getty Images

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Apart from the beautiful brooch, Princess Diana also got a signet ring from Prince Charles the night before their wedding. The ring was accompanied by a card that read:

"I'm so proud of you, and when you come up, I'll be there at the altar for you tomorrow. Just look 'em in the eye and knock 'em dead."

Indeed, Prince Charles was at the altar waiting for his beautiful bride as she walked down the aisle. Princess Diana recalled the moment, including sighting the Duchess of Cornwall.

Princess Diana wearing a maternity dress with the Spencer family Tiara, Royal Family Orders and a diamond necklace In the shape of the Prince Of Wales feathers an event at the Royal Academy on May 14, 1984 | Source: Getty Images

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"So walking down the aisle, I spotted Camilla, pale grey, veiled pillbox hat, saw it all, her son Tom standing on a chair. To this day, you know - vivid memory," Princess Diana recounted.

HOW CAMILLA GOT DIANA'S WEDDING GIFT 

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall arrives at Cheltenham racecourse on ladies day during day two of the Cheltenham Festival on March 14, 2012 in Cheltenham, England | Source: Getty Images

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Following Shand's marriage to Prince Charles in 2005, she was gifted the same gift as Princess Diana — the stunning brooch. The jewelry had been handed back to Queen Elizabeth II after Prince Charles and Princess Diana divorced in 1996, and the latter died the following year.

So, after Prince Charles and Shand married, the Duchess of Cornwall received the Prince of Wales Feathers Brooch from her husband. The jewelry was first recognized on Shand at a movie premiere one year after her wedding, and the public was shocked.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall wears a brooch previously worn by Princess Diana as she attends day 2 'Ladies Day' of the Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival on March 14, 2012 in Cheltenham, England | Source: Getty Images

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It was more surprising as the Duchess had redesigned the jewelry, and many claimed it was inappropriate, noting that it was in poor taste. Charlotte White, the Head of design at 77 diamonds, said:

"The notion of Camilla wearing a sparkling emerald and diamond brooch that once rested gracefully as a pendant on Diana's skin and close to her heart does feel somewhat jarring when you think that many years ago Camilla was Diana's husband's lover."

"And yet, this 158-year-old jewel does contain within it an undeniable link to Prince Charles, the man to whom both these women are inextricably linked," she added.

Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla Parker Bowles arrive at the royal film premiere of The History Boys at the Odeon in Leicester Square in London 02 October 2006 | Source: Getty Images

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It was reported that Shand had worn the brooch in public because Prince Charles was adamant that she was to have it after they married.

"It is understood that the Prince was particularly keen for his new bride to wear the brooch because of its association with successive princes of Wales," a source revealed.

Members of the Royal Family attend a reception to mark the 50th Anniversary of the investiture of The Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace in London on March 5, 2019 | Source: Getty Images

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Apart from the movie premiere in 2006, Princess Diana was also spotted at Cheltenham Festival in 2012 with the piece, and in 2019, for a reception at Buckingham Palace.

While some people still argue that Shand should not wear the brooch, Maxwell Stone, creative director from Steven Stone Jewellers, made it known that the piece is more valuable, as Princess Diana and Shand have worn it. In his words:

"As this is a royal jewel worn by not one, but two members of the royal family, it probably has an estimated value of around £100,000 thanks to its legacy."

CAMILLA'S SOPHISTICATED GIFT TO PRINCE CHARLES THAT MADE DIANA JEALOUS 

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Princess Margaret and Princess Diana,attending a banquet held in honour of Italian President Francesco Cossiga, at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England, on 25th October 1990 | Source: Getty Images

For the longest time, Shand remained a significant issue in Prince Charles and Princess Diana's marriage. The latter once revealed two incidents that happened that left her jealous.

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Reflecting on their honeymoon, Princess Diana recalled seeing two photos of Shand in her husband's diary. On another occasion, she saw two cufflinks with two "C's" intertwined. 

Princess Diana on an official overseas visit to Italy on April 22, 1985 | Source: Getty Images

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Princess Diana revealed that she asked her husband if the gifts were from Shand, and he replied in the affirmative, noting that it was only a present from a friend, and there was nothing wrong. At that point, the princess confessed that she was overwhelmed with jealousy. In her words:

"Jealousy, total jealousy - and it's such a good idea two 'C's,' but it wasn't that clever in some ways."

Unfortunately, Shand's continuous interference in their marriage brought about the end of their union. To date, The Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales remain together.

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