With all the buzz and excitement of the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markel, we wanted to take a look at our three favourite engagement rings of the Royal family.
The Royal family is host to the one of the most extensive jewellery collections in the world. The Crown Jewels which form part of the Royal Collection encompass an array of crowns, jewellery, robes and other ceremonial regalia. So it should come as no surprise that the various engagement rings within the Royal family are some of the most extravagant and renowned pieces in the world.
1. Meghan Markel’s Engagement Ring
In November 2017, Harry and Meghan officially announced their engagement at Kensington palace. Prince Harry designed the ring used to propose to Meghan himself using diamonds which belonged to his mother, the late Princess Diana.
The yellow gold diamond trilogy ring took Prince Harry 6 months to design. The centre stone is a 3.5ct cushion cut diamond from Botswana, symbolic of the time Harry spent their growing up and of the couples recent holiday to the African nation. The centre stone is accompanied by a 0.75ct round brilliant diamond on either side which were part of Princess Diana’s collection.
The ring was crafted by Cleave and Company, a British jeweller who is known for their commissioned work including jewels, insignia, state gifts and Object d ’Art for head of state and national governments. The ring is believed to be worth an estimated £250,000.
2. Diana and Kate’s Engagement Ring
Arguably one of the most famous coloured gemstone rings in the world, Princess Diana’s engagement ring contained a vivid blue 12ct Oval Ceylon Sapphire set in 18ct White Gold. The main centre stone is surrounded by 14 round brilliant diamonds.
The ring was considered unusual at the time because it was not a custom or a unique design. The sapphire ring designed by the Crown Jewellers Garrad & Co Ltd was featured in the company’s jewellery collection at the time Diana selected it, available to anyone for purchase. To this day it is often referred to as the commoners ring.
Following Diana’s death, Prince William and Harry were brought to Kensington Palace to select mementos from their late mother’s collection. Surprisingly, William selected Diana’s yellow gold Cartier watch and Harry was the one who selected and came into possession of the sapphire engagement ring. They eventually exchanged keepsakes, with Prince William going on to propose to Kate in Kenya with Diana’s ring in 2010.
After Diana’s and Prince Charles proposal in 1981 and William and Kate’s engagement in 2010, the jewellery industry observed a popularisation of coloured gemstones for engagement rings. The famous Ceylon sapphire ring is rumoured to be valued at approximately £300,000 today.
3. Queen Elizabeth’s Engagement Ring
When discussing famous regal engagement rings, it is hard to go past the ring of the reigning monarch, Queen Elizabeth II. Designed by Prince Philip and crafted by the London jeweller Philip Antrobus Ltd, the ring features a stunning 3.00ct Old Cut diamond. The diamond is set in platinum, with 5 smaller side diamonds pave set on each shoulder.
Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg (who is incidentally the great grand-daughter of Queen Victoria) gifted Philip her diamond encrusted tiara in order to fashion the diamond’s used in Elizabeth’s ring. The engagement ring is estimated to be valued at around £200,000 today.
The Queens’ collection is said to contain over 1,000 individual pieces of exquisite jewellery. Some of the most famous pieces are of course her coronation necklace and the imperial state crown. Some of the crown jewels are still on display at the Tower of London under heavily armed guard.
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