Wal-Mart’s British subsidiary is offering a £19 version ($36.25) of the platinum and diamond engagement ring Prince Charles gave to Camilla Parker Bowles.
The original, valued at almost $1 million, is “a timeless classic,” but the retailer wanted to give its customers “a taste of royalty for a fraction of the price,” said Justine Reid, jewelry buyer for the 267-store ASDA chain. “We hope [the replica gives] all budding Prince Charmings the chance to impress their princesses and still have change left over for the weekly shopping!”
ASDA planned to start selling the look-alike of the engagement ring—originally owned by the late Queen Elizabeth, mother of Queen Elizabeth II and grandmother of Charles—on April 8, the wedding day, at its in-store jewelry counters. There are no plans to sell it in the United States.
The Art Deco–style original has an emerald-cut diamond set in platinum surrounded by six baguette diamonds. The replica is made of sterling silver with cubic zirconia, and sold under ASDA’s new George label.
Camilla’s ring “has gone down very well with the public,” an ASDA spokesman told the Times of London, prompting consumers’ requests to the retailer for a copy. ASDA expected the replica to sell well with “mums and grans,” “royalists,” and “anyone who wants an unusual piece of jewelry,” ASDA spokespersons told British newspapers. However, to be safe, the company made only 1,000 and also offered “for those who really want to make a royal impression,” it said, a made-to-order version in platinum with 4.8 cts. of diamonds (the original has eight) for £30,000 ($57,000).
The ring, made in London in the 1920s, was a gift by the future King George VI to his wife Elizabeth when she was pregnant with the present Queen, Elizabeth II, says the Times.