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Meghan Markle wears Diana's Asprey ring to her evening reception - a 'something blue' gift from Prince Harry

Sarah Royce-Greensill
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, the new Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, leave Windsor castle to attend their evening reception at Frogmore House. The Duchess wears an aquamarine Asprey cocktail ring, believed to be a gift from her husband, that belonged to Princess Diana - Getty Images Europe

Those counting off the four traditional elements of a bride's outfit will have noted Meghan Markle's something old - a pair of Cartier earrings she has worn previously; a few somethings new - her Givenchy haute couture dress and five-metre veil among them; and something borrowed - the Queen Mary's Diamond Bandeau tiara she borrowed from the Queen for her big day. But where was the something blue?

Tonight, as the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex left Windsor Castle to travel to their evening reception at Frogmore House, that question was answered. The new Duchess wore a sizeable blue cocktail ring on her right hand, nicely matched by the blue soles of her white Aquazurra shoes.

A close-up of the aquamarine ring worn by Meghan Markle Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

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Eagle-eyed wedding watchers were quick to point out that the ring looked like the emerald-cut aquamarine ring owned by the groom's late mother, Princess Diana. Later, its maker Asprey confirmed that it was indeed the 1997-designed ring, and the Duke had given it to his new bride as a wedding gift. 

Princess Diana wearing the aquamarine ring at a private viewing of the Christie's auction of her dresses in 1997 Credit: Tim Graham/Getty Images

Princess Diana was pictured wearing the ring at a private viewing of the Christie's auction of her dresses in 1997. Unlike Ms Markle, who wears it alone, Diana wore it with a diamond eternity band.

She was also pictured wearing it with a matching bracelet during a visit to Sydney in 1996. The bracelet features a larger emerald-cut aquamarine, clasped between six rows of pearls. 

Princess Diana wearing the aquamarine ring during a visit to Sydney in 1996 Credit: Julian Parker/UK Press via Getty Images

The gift is another way for the Duke to involve his mother in the couple's celebrations. Ms Markle's engagement ring features two diamonds taken from jewellery that belonged to Diana; they flank the central stone, which was sourced from Botswana.

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The Prince designed the engagement ring himself and had it made by court jeweller Cleave and Company. When the couple got engaged, he said incorporating Diana's diamonds was his way to make sure "she's with us on this crazy journey".

Meghan Markle's three-stone diamond engagement ring was designed by Prince Harry using Diana's diamonds Credit: REUTERS/John Sibley/Pool

Ms Markle's wedding gown, a minimal, white number designed by Givenchy's Clare Waight Keller, was quite unlike the voluminous puff-sleeved style worn by Diana. But the Duchess' evening dress - a backless Stella McCartney design - has drawn comparisons to the late Princess, thanks to its daring neckline and flesh-flashing silhouette.

Princess Diana wearing the aquamarine ring with its matching bracelet during a visit to Sydney in 1996 Credit: Getty Images

Earlier in the day, Prince Harry had placed a slim wedding band made of Welsh gold on Ms Markle's finger. This echoes the Welsh gold wedding band worn by Diana. Since the Queen Mother's wedding in 1923 it has been tradition for royal wedding rings to be made from Welsh gold. The Prince, however, has broken from this tradition by choosing a ring in textured platinum.

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The Prince's sister-in-law, the Duchess of Cambridge, has worn pieces from Princess Diana's private collection on a handful of occasions - and of course, she wears her sapphire and diamond engagement ring every day. Perhaps Ms Markle's aquamarine ring signals that more of Diana's jewels will soon be seen in public again - this time on her youngest son's most modern of brides.