The Most Astonishing Royal Engagement Rings Throughout History
When you're a member of the British Royal Family, any mere diamond ring won't cut it to agree on marrying. It has to be an exuberant and one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry to guarantee a resounding yes to the big question. And it seems that high-born people are masters at this.
It turns out that the royal household has a vast collection of engagements rings that are undoubtedly worth checking out. And apart from their costly stones and gorgeous designs, most of them have fascinating backstories. Queen Elizabeth's engagement ring has an amazing long story while Princess Margeret's one has a deep meaning. Join us on this fantastic ride to learn everything about the sparkliest engagement rings of our favorite noble family in the UK.
CHAPTER 1: QUEEN ELIZABETH II
When Philip wanted to propose to his beloved Elizabeth in July 1947, he was not a well-off Greek Prince, as per Good Housekeeping's report. Therefore, his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, stepped in to help her son. She gifted Philip with some diamonds taken from a tiara she was given on her wedding day.
Jewelers Philip Antrobus Ltd. worked with the Greek royal to create the sparkler featuring a 3K round-cut diamond in the center with ten smaller ones set in platinum. Pretty normal for the heir of the British throne, right? But 70 years later, the Queen still wears it, so we guess some things can't be measured in terms of money.
CHAPTER 2: PRINCESS MARGARET
The Queen's sister was the one who had the first flower-shaped piece in the family. Her then-fiancé, Antony Armstrong-Jones, took the inspiration of the design from a rosebud to honor the Princess' middle name: Rose.
It was a ruby engagement ring with diamonds around it that Margaret exhibited for the first time in February 1960.
CHAPTER 3: ANNE, THE PRINCESS ROYAL
The Queen's only daughter received not only one but two engagement rings. As you might know, Anne got engaged with her first husband Mark Phillips in May 1973 and tied the knot in November of that year. With him, the Princess showed off a classic sapphire set in the middle of two diamonds.
As Vogue reported, the second piece had a more bohemian style with a cabochon stone and three diamonds on each side. Timothy Laurence gave it to his fiancée in December 1992, the same year Anne divorced her first husband, according to Unofficial Royal.
CHAPTER 4. PRINCESS DIANA OF WALES
The former Crown Jeweller, Garrard & Co. is the mastermind behind the creation of the beautiful engagement ring that was given to Lady Di in February 1981. Good Housekeeping described it as a large 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire ringed with 14 solitaire diamonds, all set in 18K white gold.
Although it became one of the most copied rings to date, back in the time when Diana got engaged, it was not very unique. The piece featured in the jeweler's catalog, meaning it was available to any commoner. However, Lady Spencer loved it and went for it when Charles presented a variety of jewels to choose from.
CHAPTER 5: DUCHESS OF YORK
The piece Fergie received in February 1986 followed in the steps of Princess Margaret's piece. The Duchess' engagement ring was flower-shaped, including a Burmese ruby with ten diamonds surrounding it on a yellow gold band.
Prince Andrew and his fiancée wanted something unconventional and agreed that red was the best color for Sarah.
CHAPTER 6: DUCHESS SOPHIE OF WESSEX
After a five-year relationship, Prince Edward popped the question in January 1999 to his then-girlfriend, Sophie Rhys-Jones, with a gorgeous engagement ring, according to Mama M!a.
Royal jeweler Garrard designed a 2-carat oval diamond flanked by two smaller heart-shaped gemstones in 18-karat white gold. Classic but gorgeous, isn't it?
CHAPTER 7: AUTUMN PHILLIPS
If you're not familiar with this name, this lady is the wife of Princess Anne's son, Peter Phillips.
The lovebirds announced their engagement in July 2007, and it was hard to miss the platinum ring. It had an oval center diamond and some more stones on each side, as per Vogue.
CHAPTER 8: DUCHESS CAMILLA OF CORNWALL
Pretty much like Kate, Camilla got a family heirloom that can be summed up in only one word: regal. It previously belonged to no one else than the Queen Mother, who was photographed during the mid-80s exhibiting the sparkler at an evening event.
But surprisingly, the jewel was not her engagement ring from King George VI. The origin of the piece is still kept under wraps. Vogue noted that Prince Charles used the gem to finally propose to his soulmate in February 2005. It features an art deco design and a large five-carat square-cut diamond right in the center with three diamond baguettes on each side.
CHAPTER 9: DUCHESS KATE OF CAMBRIDGE
Does it look familiar? Yes, right? It is because the piece is the same one that once belonged to the late People's Princess. Following Lady Di's divorce from Charles, the jewel returned to Kensington Palace to be stored. As per The Diamond Store Magazine, Charles allowed William and Harry to pick mementos from Diana's possession after her demise.
Harry got the engagement ring, while the eldest brother went for a gold Cartier watch. However, when it was time for William to propose to Kate, the siblings exchanged their relics so that Will could give the engagement ring to his future wife in October 2010. The same source added that the gemstone cost £28,000 back in 1981 when Prince Charles bought it for Diana. However, due to inflation, now it is worth around £300,000. William decided to give it to his now-wife during a trip to Kenya. He kept it in a rucksack not to lose it until it was the perfect occasion to pop the question.
CHAPTER 10: ZARA PHILLIPS
Princess Anne's only daughter has one heck of a rock in her finger! The Equestrian royal was given a custom-made solitaire diamond in a platinum ring with a divided diamond band. Her now-husband, former rugby player Mike Tindall, truly hit a home run with the piece in December 2010.
CHAPTER 11: DUCHESS MEGHAN OF SUSSEX
To seal a perfect love story, Prince Harry designed the ideal engagement ring to propose to the American actress in November 2017, and he made sure the jewel was unique enough. Business Insider reported that the Prince went for a trilogy ring, featuring a 2.5-carat cushion cut diamond from Botswana.
It also has two stones from the late Princess Diana's collection. All this is set in white gold with the main band in yellow Welsh gold. Court jewelers Cleave and Company created the engagement ring, and Express reported it cost some modest £122,500.
CHAPTER 12: PRINCESS EUGENIE
Prince Andrew's daughter had to wait some years until his fiancé Jack Brooksbank put an engagement ring in her finger in January 2018. And if it also rings the bell with you, it's because it was perfectly designed to look like Sarah Ferguson's stone. Eugenie's has a light pink padparadscha sapphire circled by diamonds in a flower shape, all set on a yellow gold band.
Now, we cannot wait to know which of all these breathtaking engagement rings was your favorite! Let us know in the comment section down below. But hey! Don't go too far! We have more fantastic articles like this one in the pipeline for you, so stay tuned!