Kate Middleton Engagement Ring Knockoffs A Holiday Must-Have

Kate Middleton isn’t a princess just yet, but it appears the well-spoken daughter of self-made English millionaires is well on her way to becoming a style icon.

Knockoffs of the sparkling sapphire engagement ring that Kate recently accepted from her longtime beau-turned-fiance, Britain’s Prince William, are already on tap to become the must-have accessory of the holiday season, according to jewelers in the Big Apple. The bauble is the same one Prince Charles presented to Princess Diana when the then-couple announced their engagement in 1981. Kate’s rock is estimated to be worth more than $100,000, most wallet-watchin’ royal watchers have their eyes on the $1,000 replica.

The Natural Sapphire Co. in Midtown Manhattan had “too many emails to even process” requesting duplicates of the ring following Will and Kate’s wedding announcement last week.

“We get orders for the Diana replica every once in a while, but after the engagement, the demand is just tremendous,” says company CIO Evan Guttman.

The royal wedding date has been set for Prince William and Kate Middleton’s nuptials. The date to save is Friday, April 29, 2011. The couple will follow in the footsteps of William’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, by wedding at London’s historic Westminster Abbey.

The royal family will foot the approximate $40 million bill for the wedding ceremony — but British taxpayers will likely be paying for the security costs. The Queen paid for Prince Charles and Camilla’s wedding ceremony out of her own pocket when they wed in 2005 and it seems Prince Charles will pay for his eldest son’s special day as well. One thing’s for certain, Will and Kate’s wedding will not be as lavish as the formal state occasion the prince’s parents enjoyed. Nearly 30 years later, the exact figure is still difficult to come by, but Prince Charles and Princess Diana’s ceremony — which included 6,000 police officers and military manning the route to St. Paul’s Cathedral, the 27 wedding cakes, and 10,000 hand-sewn pearls on Diana’s gown – is estimated to have cost about $47 million back…and that was in 1981 currency!

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