By DEBORAH ARTHURS
Real vs replica: Right, the £6 take on Kate's 18 carat sapphire engagement ring, left, has sold more than any other piece of jewellery this year, say Debenhams
Kate's engagement ring is a Windsor family heirloom worth £250,000. But for wannabe princesses on a tighter budget, it seems a £6 replica ring could be the answer.
Debenhams created the sparkler in response to what they say was 'overwhelming' customer demand for an homage to the royal ring.
And now that the ring has hit the shelves, staff say they cannot restock fast enough, with unprecendented sales meaning that the ring is set to become Debenhams' fastest ever selling piece of jewellery.
Precious memory: William gave Kate the 18 carat sapphire and diamond ring that belonged to his mother Diana
Vicky Hewitt, spokesperson for the store said: 'It’s clear that women have been captivated by the romance of the occasion.
'They want the chance to look like a princess too – for a fraction of the price.'
The ring in question is a far cry from the platinum, 18 carat sapphire and 14 diamonds that make up the Garrard ring that Charles gave to Diana back in 1983, when it cost £28,000, and that William chose to give to Kate on their engagement.
But while the metals may not be as precious and the stones lack the sparkle of the real ring, it seems that shoppers are happy just to get a feel for what it would be like to wear the piece.
Said Debenham's Vicky Hewitt: 'Lots of women all over the world are wondering what it would be like to slip into Kate Middleton's shoes, so it’s great to be able to offer our customers the chance to feel royal without having to steal the crown jewels to afford it.'