Princess Diana’s sparkling diamond and pearl necklace is to be sold, with part of the proceeds going to help Ukraine. The necklace was reportedly a gift for Diana by Dodi Al-Fayed and was worn by the Princess to a gala evening to see the ballet Swan Lake at the Royal Albert Hall, London in 1997 before both Princess Diana and Dodi were tragically killed in a car crash in Paris.
The piece is unique as it is believed to be one of few jewellery pieces actually owned by the Princess, as most of her other jewellery was loaned to her and was owned by the Royal Family.
A Ukrainian family has owned this historic necklace since 2008, but after the Russian invasion, their finances and business have suffered, which has led them to auction the item off.
Experts at Guernsey’s Auctioneers of New York where the necklace will sold have estimated that the jewellery is worth between £4 million and £11 million, and part of the sales will be used to help rebuild Ukraine.
Arlan Ettinger, the president of Guernsey’s Auctioneers said: «While many accomplished figures fade from view, Princess Diana is as vibrant today as when she was indeed the most admired woman on the planet.
«The jewellery Princess Diana wore when she was part of the Royal family was loaned to her by the Crown The Swan Lake Suite was specially made for her. She was part of the design process.
«It is thought to be her only jewellery to have ever been sold, making it extraordinarily important.»
However, the necklace will also be sold alongside matching South Sea pearl earrings that were being made for Diana, but the Princess never got to wear the earrings before her death.
The luxury jewellery company Garrard had both pieces in their collection when Diana died as the jewellers asked the royal to take back the necklace in order to make her matching earrings.
Diana’s family gave Gerrard permission to sell both necklaces and earrings after her death as long as some of the sale proceeds go to UNICEF.
An American businessman named Jim McIngvale bought the jewellery for less than a million dollars before selling it to an Ukranian family after the 2008 financial crisis.
The necklace and earrings are thought to be some of Diana’s only jewellery to ever be sold, as most of her other jewels were inherited by Prince William and Prince Harry, or were already owned by the Crown’s estate.
In a special “letter of wishes”, Diana wrote she wanted to leave her jewellery for her son’s future wives, and wished for her future daughters-in-law to wear the pieces.
Princess Kate’s sapphire engagement ring once belonged to Diana and is thought to be worth £16.5 million, and at King Charles’ Coronation last week, the Princess also paid tribute to her late mother-in-law by wearing Diana’s South Sea pearl earrings.
Bethan Holt, the fashion director at the Daily Telegraph, once told People that Kate uses fashion in order to pay her respects to Diana in a positive way.
She said: “I think that William and Kate between them might have decided that actually on some occasions it’s a really nice thing for Kate to reference the fact that Diana is still a fashion muse today and to do that through her own clothes.”