Nothing is ever scandal-free when it comes to the British royal family. You don’t need to be a dedicated royal-watcher or even a big fan of Netflix’s The Crown (which came back over the weekend with its fourth season) to know that, either. But a recent Vanity Fair headline caught my attention especially quickly, answering the burning question I didn’t know I needed to be asking: How did Meghan Markle wind up with Princess Diana’s favorite watch, a gold Cartier Tank Française?
I won’t totally spoil the tale for you here (you’ll have to click through and read the VF piece for that), but it’s way more complicated than you might expect. Princess Diana owned quite a few watches, including multiple Cartier Tank watches and an engraved Patek Philippe given to her by her then-husband, Prince Charles, just after the birth of their first son, Prince William. Since Princess Diana was photographed basically non-stop, there is a pretty robust visual record of these watches. Just do a quick Google search, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
When it comes to the Tank Française in question (a solid-gold model on a matching gold bracelet), it’s not exactly clear who gave the watch to Diana, how it ended up with Prince Harry, and if it’s actually the exact same watch Markle has been seen wearing recently. The watch has been the subject of speculation for some time, with various news outlets reporting on it over the last 25 years or so, but this latest development is the first time this watch has popped up in quite a while.
Now, does the Tank Française make an on-screen appearance in the latest season of The Crown? Honestly, I have no idea. It was a busy weekend, so as of writing this, I’m only one episode in. If you’ve got a better answer than that, let us know down in the comments below!