The Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends author, 32, wore the eye-popping bling, which features an octagonal halo and a gigantic center stone, to dress up an affordable floral dress just one day after the announcement. Middleton, younger sister of Duchess Kate, paired the ASOS Vila Floral Cami Dress, ($62, asos.com) with nude crisscross wedges, a matching shoulder bag and tortoiseshell wayfarers.
But all eyes were still on the sparkler, which jewelry expert Michael O’Connor tells Us Weekly is vintage-inspired. “Deco-style engagement rings [are] actually very much on-trend,” he explains. “[Middleton’s] Asscher-cut center diamond looks to be about 3 carats. It’s set in a platinum bezel setting surrounded by white, brilliant-cut diamonds, adding about another 1.5 carats.”
The style of the ring supports the triathlete’s active lifestyle too. “The setting not only adds a modern ‘halo’ style, but it also protects the center diamond from damage, giving it long-term wearability,” adds O’Connor, who values the ring at approximately $80,000.
Middleton and Matthews, 40, who runs Eden Rock Capital Management, confirmed the news of their upcoming nuptials with a short and sweet statement: “Miss Pippa Middleton and Mr. James Matthews are delighted to announce they became engaged on Sunday, July 17, and plan to marry next year.”
Shortly after, Middleton’s family, including her royal sister, expressed their excitement. “They make a wonderful couple, and we wish them every happiness together,” father Michael Middleton said on Tuesday. On behalf of Kate and Prince William, a spokesperson from Kensington Palace added, “The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are absolutely delighted with the news.”
But a source close to the palace revealed that the mother of George and Charlotte was surprised by the engagement. The news was “totally unexpected. She had no idea they were getting engaged so soon,” the insider says of the Duchess of Cambridge, 34. “Kate is so happy for Pippa. She knows how much this means to her and how much she loves James.”
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