Detail in Meghan Markle's outfit causes a stir: 'Different again?'

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·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's latest outing — to visit a school in New York City — has sent royal fans into a frenzy, with many speculating that the duchess has made another dramatic change to her jewellery collection.

The couple stepped out on Friday in Harlem to meet teachers and school children on day two of their NYC tour after visiting One World Trade Center Observatory the previous day.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex is seen on September 24, 2021 in New York City
Meghan and Harry visited a school in Harlem on day two of their NYC tour. Photo: Getty Images.

Meghan, 40, was stunning as per usual in a burgundy pantsuit and matching coat as she and her husband hugged pupils and chatted with staff.

Later, the ex-Suits star read her new picture book, The Bench to a group of youngsters as well as Prince Harry who all sat cross-legged on the floor.

But eagle-eyed fans couldn't help but notice something different about Meghan's bling, in particular her much-talked-about engagement ring.

The Duchess of Sussex made headlines back in 2019 when she 'upgraded' the traditional, gold band ring Harry designed for her to a glittering pave diamond band.

"Wait is the engagement ring different again? Is it back to being a wider band?" asked a follower of @fromberkshiretobuckingham, a popular royal fan account run by Jane Barr.

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Instagram posts about Meghan Markle's engagement ring by @fromberkshiretobuckingham
Royal fans wondered if Meghan has changed her engagement ring once again. Photo: Instagram/fromberkshiretobuckingham.

The account received so many questions about Meghan's ring that they shared a series of Instagram Stories posts investigating the supposed change.

After doing some sleuthing, @fromberkshiretobuckingham announced that the duchess was wearing the same pave diamond band ring.

"Okay, Meghan has not had her engagement ring reset a third time," Jane stated.

"The thicker band some people are thinking is a return to the old setting is her wedding band. The [engagement] ring's band is so slender it disappears in most photos," she explained.

Mystery solved.

Jane also noted that Meghan has started wearing an emerald cut diamond pinkie ring from Lorraine Schwartz which she thinks is "more along the lines of what she envisioned for her engagement ring" in the first instance.

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex reads to school children from her book, The Bench in Harlem on September 24, 2021 in New York City
The Duchess of Sussex read to school children from her book, The Bench. Photo: Getty Images.
A close-up photo of Meghan, Duchess of Sussex's rings on a visit to One World Observatory on September 23, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/WireImage)
A close-up shot of Meghan's rings - including her new emerald-cut diamond pinkie ring - taken on her visit to the One World Observatory on September 23 in New York City. Photo: Getty Images.

Ringing in changes

When Meghan debuted the improvements she made to the engagement ring she received from Prince Harry in 2017, it nearly went unnoticed by the public.

It was only when close-up photos from the Trooping the Colour ceremony in May 2019 showing the Duchess’ hand waving to the crowd that the difference became clearly visible.

While the central trio of diamonds remained the same, gone was the traditional, wide gold band of the original design and in its place was a thinner band studded with pave diamonds.

Meghan Markle's engagement ring from Prince Harry
The original: Meghan posed with her traditional gold band with Prince Harry when they announced their engagement in 2017. Photo: Getty Images

It was Prince Harry who designed the original ring himself, with the help of jewellers Cleave and Company.

It features an impressive centre stone from Botswana – a place that holds special meaning for the couple after they camped there together early in their relationship.

"The ring is - is obviously yellow gold because that's her favourite - and the main stone itself I sourced from Botswana," Harry said in his first interview with the BBC since proposing to Meghan.

Harry also included a tribute to his late mum in the ring in the form of two smaller diamonds flanking the central stone which were taken from Diana's jewellery collection.

Meghan Markle's new diamond band engagement ring
The upgrade: Meghan Markle debuted her new engagement ring band at Trooping the Colour in May 2019. Photo: Getty Images

Clearing up rumours

The 'upgrades' to Meghan's ring were widely criticised but as royal reporters Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand claim in their 2020 book, Finding Freedom, it wasn't the duchess' decision.

The authors say it was Harry who spearheaded the ring alteration while he was having another ring created to celebrate the birth of their son, Archie.

"On May 19, 2019, Harry also surprised his wife of one year with the gift of a ring that he had created with jeweller-to-the-stars Lorraine Schwartz, a favourite of Meghan’s.

"The conflict-free diamond eternity band paid homage to the family of three with Meghan’s, Archie’s and Harry’s birthstones (peridot, emerald and sapphire respectively) on the underside of the ring.

"Harry also thought to have Lorraine resize and reset Meghan’s engagement ring with a new diamond band."

Additional reporting by Sarah Carty.

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