Sapphire appears to be the gemstone of choice for the Middleton siblings. 

prince william duchess kate engagement photo
Credit: Mario Testino

The Duchess of Cambridge's younger brother is set to wed Alizee Thevenet—and the future queen appears to have influenced her sibling's choice of engagement ring. When James Middleton popped the question to his girlfriend of one year, he did so with a sparkler that has an uncanny resemblance to the ring Kate Middleton wears (which once belonged to Princess Diana).

James announced his engagement with a sweet photo on social media with the caption: "She said OUI. Our secret is out but we couldn't be happier to share the news. #jalizee." In the image, a selfie of the happy couple, fans get a clear view of Alizee's ring. The piece is comprised of a massive sapphire flanked by two diamond baguettes.

Upon seeing the blue ring, many were quick to point out its resemblance to Duchess Catherine's sapphire bauble. Us Weekly notes that while the two pieces of jewelry are similar, there are a few differences, "like the fact that Thevenet's ring is an emerald cut and Kate's [is] an oval."

For now, very few details have emerged about the jeweler responsible for Alizee's ring. The origins of Kate's own, however, are widely know. Prince William proposed to his now-wife using the very same sapphire ring that Prince Charles proposed to Princess Diana with. What's more, the piece actually has a history that predates Princess Diana. Made of a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds and set in 18-karat white gold, the famous design was first seen in the mid-19th century, when Prince Albert commissioned the British jeweler Garrard to create a brooch for his bride, Queen Victoria.


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