Ernest Hemingway, George Eastman, Elmer Keith, Jimmy Stewart … and Princess Diana. While it may seem as though one of these things is not like the other, they all share a common bond: Guns made by Westley Richards & Company of Birmingham, England.
It’s not uncommon to hear about someone getting a gun as a wedding gift. Sometimes the gifted gun is utilitarian – meant to be used for concealed carry or home defense. Other times, the gifted gun is more glamorous – meant to be a memento of the specific occasion. Often, this means it will be engraved with a name, date, etc.
Rarely, though, are they as elaborate as the gun given to Princess Diana and Prince Charles on their wedding day. Then again, most people aren’t part of the Royal Family.
For starters, the beautifully-cased gun itself is of exceptionally high quality. Made by Westley Richards, the 12-gauge shotgun is as close to perfection as you can get. After all, exceptional attention to detail is what you’d expect from a company that has been making guns since 1812 and charge £54,500 – or approximately $77,000 – for a brand-new example of their base model shotgun. (Their cheapest used shotgun available for purchase in the US is priced at $13,000.)
And then there’s the embellishment. The gun is beautifully engraved and accented with gold. Some of the highlights include floral images, the royal family crest, and – of course – the wedding date itself. The engraving was done by the Brown Brothers, known worldwide for their exquisite work.
This is one of the most beautiful shotguns I’ve seen, and, hands down, it’s the most beautiful wedding gun I’ve ever seen!
Will Meghan Markle and Prince Harry receive a stunning nuptial shotgun at their upcoming wedding? Only time will tell, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.
(Firearm courtesy of NRA Museums)
Logan Metesh is a firearms historian and consultant who runs High Caliber History LLC. Click here for a free 3-page download with tips about caring for your antique and collectible firearms.