Buckingham Palace is selling $40 replicas of Meghan Markle’s engagement ring.
Meghan Markle has inherited the “Kate Effect” — and then some.
Everything that Kate Middleton and her royal offspring touch turns to sold, and her new sister-in-law has been making a similar mark on fashion ever since her engagement and lavish wedding ceremony to Prince Harry earlier this year.
In fact, you can now feed your royal obsession by getting your hands on a copy of Markle’s three-carat diamond engagement ring. The “Buckingham Palace Statement Ring” revealed by the official royal gift shop this week is crafted from three large crystals set in palladium-plated medal on an adjustable band for just £30 (or about $40 USD). That’s a steal compared to the real, custom-made sparkler that Prince Harry presented, which many diamond experts have deemed “priceless” because it features diamonds from the late Princess Diana’s royal collection, although some estimates put it between $200,000 and $350,000.
You can complete the look by adding a matching statement pendant necklace for another $40. They haven’t sold out yet, so now’s your chance to get your hands on a piece of that Markle Sparkle for yourself.
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This Meghan Markle Effect has been a royal gift to retailers the world over, especially during last spring’s royal nuptials, which luxury wedding planners suggested carried a hefty $1.4 million to $45.8 million price tag, which pumped an estimated $1.4 billion into the British economy through tourism, parties and sales of commemorative t-shirts, hats and other merch. There were even Crown Jewels royal wedding-themed condoms.
The fervor goes beyond simple royal fever, however. The world has been captivated by the Markle Sparkle because she was already a celebrity in her own right through playing Rachel Zane on “Suits.” And as a biracial, divorced American, she’s also much more relatable than traditional blue bloods, so people are poring over every detail of what she does (and what she wears) as she joins the British monarchy.
Some women are even getting plastic surgery and fillers to look like the royal bride-to-be, with many asking for Markle’s distinctive nose. “A lot of women are looking at her and thinking, ‘How can I be like this cute woman and get my own Prince Charming?’” Dr. Rian Maercks, a plastic surgeon practicing in New York and Florida, told Moneyish.
So when Markle wore a $750 winter white belted coat by Canadian brand Line the Label during her official engagement announcement outside Kensington Palace last fall, royally-obsessed shoppers caused the designer site to crash and bought out the handmade coat in minutes. The line even renamed it “The Meghan” in honor of her engagement.
Markle, who lived in Toronto before relocating to London, has been good to the Canadian brand. She previously donned a $295 khaki Line the Label trench for the Invictus Games that also immediately sold out.
That’s not the only line that has enjoyed a boost from the bride-to-be. Markle’s engagement outfit included white strappy $730 Aquazzura heels that wrap around the ankles, which also sold out, and a $585 dark green dress by Italian label p.a.r.o.s.h that is also off the market. She topped it off with $780 18K gold Opal earrings from Birks, and the jeweler reported a 50% bump in site traffic on the day she wore them, WWD reported.
The New York Times reported that when Markle carried a Strathberry bag for her first official appearance after her engagement, it sold out in 11 minutes, and traffic to the company’s website spiked 5,000%. Then after she wore a pair of black Hiut Denim jeans in January, the Welsh brand had to move to a bigger factor by March to keep up with the demand.
When Kate Middleton became engaged to Prince William in 2010, the $615 blue silk Issa London wrap dress she wore — which perfectly matched her blue sapphire engagement ring — also became a sold-out global sensation. Jewelers were even called upon to create replicas of her 18-carat blue sapphire sparkler — although curiously enough, the official Buckingham Palace gift shop still hasn’t done so.
But Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, still remains the reigning queen of creating retail rushes. Analysts guess that she has a nearly $2 billion influence on the U.K. fashion industry alone, considering almost anything she wears sells out faster than you can say “Her Royal Highness.” And eBay’s annual UK Retail Report found that Middleton’s fashion choices have inspired more people to shop than Markle’s — and inspired the highest number of online searches on eBay of any royal over the past year.
But her sister-in-law is haute on her heels, as the Markle Sparkle has only continued appreciate in value after the wedding. And just wait until she has kids.
This article was originally published in November 2017, and has been updated with the new engagement ring replica.
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