Millions of dollars worth of diamonds, sapphires and pearls have disappeared since Princess Diana's death. So what's happened to the precious loot?

The wedding of the year was over, Princess Michael of Kent had kept stum about her thoughts on race (and skipped wearing any offensive jewellery) and Meghan Markle, Suits star and lifestyle blogger, had completed her transformation into a bona fide HRH the Duchess of Sussex.

Princess Diana wears a tiara and sapphire engagement ring. Photo / Getty Images
Princess Diana wears a tiara and sapphire engagement ring. Photo / Getty Images

When Meghan and Harry appeared on that May evening in 2018, it was time to pop the corks and hit the dancefloor with the corgis, the couple having finally tied the knot after a particularly speedy trans-Atlantic romance.

When they briefly greeted photographers on the way to their wedding reception — Harry in a neatly-ironed tux, Meghan in halter-neck Stella McCartney frock, what was on Meghan's right hand made headlines: a whopping emerald-cut aquamarine and diamond ring that had belonged to Princess Diana and had not been seen since just before her death in 1997.

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The giant bling on Meghan's finger hadn't been seen since Diana's death. Photo / Getty Images
The giant bling on Meghan's finger hadn't been seen since Diana's death. Photo / Getty Images

In the months and years since first Kate Middleton and now Meghan have joined the royal family, pieces from the late Princess of Wales' extraordinary collection of baubles have started to appear, which makes sense. Diana's will left her jaw-dropping collection, worth millions of dollars, of diamonds, pearls and sapphires (all favourites) to her sons to divvy up between their future wives.

We know Wills popped the question to Kate using his mum's enormous sapphire engagement ring (an interesting choice given his parents' marriage was a byword for matrimonial misery) that these days is valued at about $570,241.

Then he gave Kate a pair of diamond and sapphire earrings that had been gifted to Diana by the Saudi royal family when she married Charles. (ate had the studs remade into drop earrings for all of you playing along at home.)

We also know Wills has given Kate (let's assume for sentimental reasons, rather than he was too cheap or lazy to pop off down to Garrard to buy his own gifts) his mother's Cartier watch, a Nigel Milne three-strand pearl bracelet and her much-loved Collingwood pearl earrings.

 The Cambridge Knot diamond and pearl tiara with a heart-shaped diamond necklace which had been a gift from her husband when she gave birth to William. Photo / Getty Images
The Cambridge Knot diamond and pearl tiara with a heart-shaped diamond necklace which had been a gift from her husband when she gave birth to William. Photo / Getty Images

Meghan, meanwhile, was spotted wearing Diana's diamond butterfly earrings during her Down Under sojourn with Harry last year.

Only a week ago, she gussied herself up in a sparkly sequined Roland Mouret evening gown for a night-time event and paired it with a statement gold bracelet that belonged to Diana.

All of which is lovely and sweet but misses the bigger picture: Where the heck is the rest of her bling?

There are numerous significant (read: very, very valuable) earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings that have not been seen in the more than two decades since Diana's tragic death.

For example, those sapphire earrings that Wills gave Kate were part of what is known as the Saudi sapphire suite which also comprised a positively ginormous (yep, that's the technical term) pendant necklace.

She also turned the diamond-encrusted watch and ring that came as part of the suite into much-loved choker. (She also liked to wear it as a headband, an option we hope Kate and Meghan would politely ignore.)

The exact whereabouts of these pieces are not known.

Then there is Diana's iconic sapphire and pearl choker. (Wow, she really loved those things didn't she?) Created by the Princess using a broach that was a wedding present from the Queen Mother, we know where some of the necklace ended up: Harry used two of the diamonds from this to create Meghan's engagement ring. However, all this begs the question: Where the hell are the rest of the stones? And why rip apart an iconic piece of jewellery his mum clearly adored?

However, let's move on.

This 11-strand pearl choker was a wardrobe staple for the Princess. Again, it has yet to make appearance on either Meghan or Kate.

And that aquamarine ring that Meghan wore? Diana designed that herself and wore it on her wedding finger in the wake of her divorce from future-King and blazer aficionado Charles, along with a matching pearl and aquamarine bracelet. The bracelet has disappeared from public view and has not been spied since 1997.

Likewise, there are a number of sets of pearls, including a choker given to her for her 18th birthday and which she wore regularly in the 80s, that are M.I.A.

Also unaccounted for is the Crescent Set, a gift from the Sultan of Oman, her floral pearl earrings which she wore on high repeat, and the enormous South Sea cultured pearl drop earrings that were favourites.

Sure, all of these jewels might be rattling around the jewellery boxes of Kate and Meghan. (Let's all take a minute to imagine Prince George and Princess Charlotte playing furtive dress-ups with several million dollars worth of sapphires while Kate creates another chintz-filled Pinterest board.). Or, they might be lying in a Coutts bank vault, locked away for years to come.

Wherever all those carats of loveliness are hiding, let's all remember one thing: Nothing tarts up a $39 H&M dress like seven-figures worth of pearls and sapphires.