The theft of a 40-carat diamond engagement ring made the news and forced a discreet couple into the spotlight. What is the story behind this impressively big diamond, and who is this man who proposed with a diamond even bigger than Elizabeth Taylor’s 33.19-carat diamond ring?
Prince Jean Christophe Napoleon Bonaparte, one of the three pretenders to the French throne, gave to his fiancée, Countess Olympia von Arco Zinneberg, the ring with a diamond that was part of a diadem from the wife of the French Emperor Napoleon III, Empress Eugenia. Besides being huge, this diamond ring has immense historical value.
Luckily the police were able to recover and return the valuable ring to the couple, and the story of the theft is almost as amazing as the ring itself.
Prince Napoleon works at an investment bank in London, and while in Paris with his fiancée, the couple had the engagement ring, which is valued at 1 million euros, credit cards, a laptop and documents inside a bag that was on the passenger seat of their car, that they left unlocked (!!) near the hotel where their parents were staying. When they came back to pick up the bag, it was gone, and the couple had to file a complaint at the police station.
As it turned out, the robber was not very bright, the hotel’s security camera caught him on film, and he used one of the stolen credit cards at a sushi restaurant and a nearby hotel, which led to police to the 30-year old Egyptian thief who had no idea of the value of the now famous ring.
After Prince Harry and Meghan, Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank and Lady Gabriella Windsor and Thomas Kingston, another big wedding is on its way; Prince Napoleon and Countess Olympia von Arco-Zinneberg will say yes in October, in Paris, at Les Invalides, where the tomb of the groom’s ancestor, Napoleon Bonaparte, lies.
The 32-year-old groom, Jean Christophe Napoleon Bonaparte is a direct descendant, on his father’s side, of Jerome I Bonaparte, the brother of Napoleon Bonaparte and King of Westphalia, and on his mother’s side, a descendant of the French “Roi Soleil”, Louis XIV.
The bride, Countess Olympia von Arco Zinneberg, is a great-granddaughter of Emperor Charles I of Austria, and niece of the King of Belgium.
This will be the second time the Napoleon family is linked to the Austrian dynasty; Napoleon Bonaparte married Archduchess Maria Luisa of Austria more than 200 years ago.