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We weren't the only ones who were, uh, sweetly shocked when it was revealed during Prince William's engagement announcement that he had gifted his fiancée, Kate Middleton, with his late mother Diana's sapphire and diamond engagement ring. In case you've been hiding under a decades-old rock the size of Queen Elizabeth II's bank account, Wills' divorced parents, Prince Charles the Princess of Wales, had probably the most famously unhappy union in the world.
And that's putting it lightly:
"I was a bit surprised," said a friend to William's mum, who died in that notorious 1997 Paris car crash, which was the catalyst for the movie The Queen. "It's terribly sweet, but also a bit odd."
Odd because not only did Charles cheat on Diana throughout most of their marriage (with Camilla Parker-Bowles, his current wife, the Duchess of Cornwall), but Diana made it quite clear in her unofficial autobiography, Diana: Her True Story, that Charles never loved her in the first place. In fact, it is painfully apparent to anyone with a modicum of sensitivity who reads Diana that Charles was only using the former Lady Spencer to produce an heir ("and a spare," as Di cruelly put it herself, via writer Andrew Morton).
How ironic is it then when that very heir chooses to honor his mother's memory by giving his chosen bride Diana's 32-carat sparkler, which is not only a tad dated-looking, but quite possibly...cursed?
But perhaps, this gift is just that that—a sweet memory to his mum, who was beloved not just by her two sons, but by the British public as well.
Or even more controversially, could this be William's way of saying to the British royal establishment, which solidly hated Diana (just watch the The Queen folks, if you have any doubts on that one), that he's going with the public on this one?
Di's rebel spirit surely lives on a bit stronger with this news, that's for sure.