Queen Letizia attends the World Cross Day in Valencia
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Felipe asked former journalist Letizia for her hand in marriage in 2003 and, a year later, the two wed. Letizia looked stunning in a high-neck ivory gown, tiara, and long veil. She wore her engagement ring on her big day too, but the jewel hasn’t been seen since. Why is this?
Felipe gave his fiancée at the time a beautiful white gold ring featuring 16 small baguette-cut diamonds.
The ring is described as an “eternity design” as it has no central stone, and it was made by Spanish designer Suárez.
Various experts have previously estimated the value of the ring, with gemologist Alexandra Michell, from Prestige Pawnbrokers, placing it at a whopping £35,000.
She said: “It is a very impressive full hoop diamond eternity ring set with princess-cut diamonds totalling approximately 5ct and set in platinum.
“The diamonds in this ring are of exceptional colour and clarity and worth in excess of £35,000.”
Experts at jewellers Steven Stone, however, estimated the ring to be worth around £20,000.
Despite its huge value, Letizia never wears her ring and it hasn’t been seen in public since her wedding day.
There are two possible reasons for this – one being that the Spanish Queen reportedly decided to stop wearing the ring due to it hurting her hand.
She once explained that “the continuous handshakes at the receptions had injured her hand”.
The second reason, which hasn’t been confirmed by the Spanish royals, is that Letizia no longer has the ring because she returned it to the shop, according to Spanish journalists and authors Esteban Urreiztieta and Eduardo Inda.
In a biography about the Spanish Royal Family, called Urdangarin, the authors explained that King Felipe had sent his brother-in-law, Iñaki Urdangarin, to collect the ring from the jewellery shop located in Barcelona.
At the time, the ring reportedly cost £3,000.
Esteban and Eduardo claimed Iñaki paid for the ring using his company’s credit card, which was Nóos.
This was a private company that Iñaki founded – and the reason why he was sent to prison.
Currently still serving his five-year sentence, the King’s brother-in-law was found guilty of tax fraud, embezzlement, and influence peddling.
The royal authors claimed this is the reason why Queen Letizia “decided to return the ring to the shop”, and thus doesn’t – and can’t – wear the jewel.
When Letizia married Felipe in 2004, she became a Princess, and only a decade later, when her husband ascended the throne did she become Queen.
On her special day, Letizia wore a striking, off-white, silk gown with a high-standing collar, designed by 87-year-old Spanish couturier Manuel Pertegaz.
The collar featured heavy white embroidery depicting the fleur-de-lys and ears of wheat, which are details from the crest of the Prince of Asturias.
Letizia completed the look with a train, which was kept in place by Queen Sofia’s diamond tiara.
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