With a vast amount of stunning family heirlooms and a never-ending line of bespoke jewellers honoured and thrilled to design and have pieces worn by the Royal Family, it’s well known that the Windsor dynasty are never stuck for sparkling accessories to adorn their many ensembles, for all events and occasions. Engagement rings being no exception, we take a look at 9 of the British Royal brides’ most iconic rings.
The 9 Engagement Rings of the British Royal Family
1. Princess Eugenie
The most recent headline-making British Royal engagement was that of Princess Eugenie to Jack Brooksbank on 1st January, 2018.
Her ring seems to be inspired by her mother, Sarah Ferguson’s, engagement ring (see more about Sarah’s ring further down below).
Since the rumour is that the couple designed the ring themselves, this is very likely to be the case.
The unique gemstone in this ring is a padparadscha sapphire. The ring’s band is made of gold.
A padparadscha is a very rare type of sapphire. Its colour is a glowing blend of pink and yellow sapphire, creating a sparkling peachy colour.
The main gemstone in Eugenie’s ring is surrounded by 10 round diamonds, plus flanked by two pear-shaped diamonds that sit on the ring’s “shoulders” on the band.
Padparadscha sapphires are very rare and extremely expensive. We estimate the ring’s value to be around £75K-£100K.
If you want to emulate Princess Eugenie’s style, but don’t quite have the budget for a padparadscha, a pink sapphire ring with diamonds could be the perfect choice for you.
Here is a ring inspired by Princess Eugenie’s:
2. Meghan Markle
Perhaps the biggest recent Royal announcement, at least in terms of media coverage and worldwide attention, took place in November 2017 when Prince Harry’s engagement to actress Meghan Markle was made public.
According to Prince Harry, it took him six months to design Meghan’s ring.
It is a stunning diamond trilogy design that shows off a large centre stone with two smaller diamonds either side.
We estimate the ring’s worth at £150K-£200K.
The trilogy shape creates optimum sparkle, and represents the past, present and future.
It is set in yellow gold, a classic metal, said by Harry to be Meghan’s favourite.
Yellow gold is a particularly popular setting for diamonds, the yellow gold contrasting with the white, translucent colour of the stone for ultimate sparkle and shine.
The ring is made of up of one large diamond from Botswana, a place which is particularly special to the happy couple as it’s where they’ve both spent a lot of time together doing conservation work.
Also, the two smaller stones either side of the ring are from Diana’s personal collection so that the couple could include her in their big day – and according to Harry, for his mother to be a part of their ‘crazy journey’.
Thus Harry, much like his brother William, has paid a beautiful tribute to his late mother Diana.
We estimate the ring’s value to be around £75K-£100K.
Here is a diamond and gold trilogy ring in line with Meghan’s ring design:
3. Princess Diana / Kate Middleton
Princess Diana’s iconic 12-carat sapphire and diamond engagement ring now sits on the finger of Kate Middleton, following her marriage to Prince William in 2012.
The ring is estimated to be worth over £300,000.
The beautiful ring was William’s way of continuing his mother’s legacy and keeping her very much at the heart of such a big milestone in his life.
Beautifully encased by a halo of 14 glittering solitaire diamonds, this breathtaking ring caused a scandal at the time of Diana’s engagement:
Not having a unique, custom-made ring was unthinkable for a Royal engagement and some newspapers went as far as calling it a ‘commoner’s ring’.
This did not stop Diana choosing the ring she really wanted.
Being a fashion icon, her ring later went on to create a huge trend in gemstone engagement rings, revived again by Kate Middleton’s engagement to Prince William in 2010.
We think if it’s good enough for Diana and Kate, it’s good enough for us!
If diamonds aren’t your first choice in engagement rings, a stunning sapphire is a superb, luxurious option, and a beautiful alternative for those looking for a less conventional ring.
We estimate the ring’s current value to be around £200K-£250K.
Here is a sapphire ring very similar to the one worn by Diana and Kate:
4. Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
When Prince Andrew proposed to Sarah Ferguson in 1985, he chose a gorgeous Burmese ruby, alledgedly to match her vibrant red hair.
The red ruby was surrounded by 10 sparkling diamonds in a floral style and set in stunning yellow gold.
Rubies make a fitting gemstone for engagement rings, especially for someone who is looking for a colourful, less conventional stone.
Rubies, like sapphires, are also incredibly tough, almost as hard as diamonds. So their heirloom quality is well suited to engagement rings worn daily for a lifetime.
We estimate the ring’s value to be anywhere between £75K-£125K.
Here is a ring very similar to the one given to Fergie:
5. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
Once belonging to the Queen Mother, Camilla’s enchanting engagement ring from Charles in 2005 is a beautiful family heirloom.
The classic piece is a large, emerald cut diamond with baguette diamonds either side, set in platinum for ultimate luxury.
It is one of the largest and most valuable of all the engagement rings worn by the Royal Family.
The Art Deco design of this piece gives it a distinct vintage elegance, particularly suitable for someone looking for a classic yet eye-catching style of engagement ring.
We estimate the ring to be worth approximately £300K-£350K.
Below is a ring that is very, very similar to Camilla’s. SOLD OUT! (However, if you find it a little over your budget, click here for an alternative option that is also exceptionally beautiful in an Art Deco style.)
6. Princess Margaret
Inspired by her middle name, Rose, Princess Margaret’s eye-catching engagement ring has romantic rubies surrounded by smaller classic diamonds.
It was designed by her future husband, Anthony Armstrong-Jones, to look like a rose bud.
Not only are rubies popular for their beauty and durability, making them an ideal gemstone for engagement rings. Their rich and vibrant colour is also synonymous with royalty and passion.
Here is a ruby trilogy ring inspired by Princess Margaret’s ruby piece:
7. Queen Elizabeth II
Her Majesty’s breathtaking 3-carat diamond engagement ring created headlines in 1947, when Prince Phillip of Greece and Denmark proposed to her.
The ring showcases diamonds from Philip’s mother’s tiara, Princess Alice of Battenberg, as is customary in Royal Families.
Phillip designed the round cut diamond ring himself, the large stone sitting between elegant side stones. The piece is set in platinum.
Never going out of style, adorning royals and celebrities the world over, diamonds really are a girl’s best friend.
They provide a classic and timless ring you’ll never want to take off. We evaluate its worth to be about £100K-£150K.
Here is a ring inspired by the diamond design worn by Queen Elizabeth II:
8. Wallis Simpson
Little could stop Edward, Prince of Wales from marrying the woman he loved – even abdicating the throne in 1937 to marry her and causing a huge scandal at the time.
The lady in questions was none other than the US actress, Wallis Simpson.
Another show-stopping gemstone engagement ring, the staggering 19.77 carat emerald piece was made even more personal and romantic as Edward had the words, ‘We are ours now 27 x 36’, inscribed on the inside of the band.
The numbers were shorthand for the date Edward proposed to Ms. Simpson on October 27th, 1936.
Here is an emerald ring inpired by that worn by Wallis Simpson:
9. Queen Victoria
During her reign in the 19th Century, it was customary for a female monarch, due to her high status, to propose to her prospective fiancé.
Queen Victoria’s engagement ring, by today’s standards, had a unique and somwhat curious design – a serpent.
It may seem like an unusual motif for a ring that represents love, but serpents at the time symbolised wisdom, loyalty and commitment.
Victoria’s ring had a mix of emeralds, rubies and diamonds set in it. Unique and with personal meaning to her, it was vibrant and colourful, like her much-adored personality.
Here is a stunning ring that emulates the serpent design of Queen Victoria’s ring:
If there’s one thing we can learn from these Royal jewellery pieces is that the famous saying, ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, could not be more fitting than when choosing an engagement ring.
Ultimately, as we can see from all these stunning diamonds, gemstones and designs above, it’s all about choosing what you feel best suits your loved one’s character and style.
And also, about finding the perfect, befitting representation of yours and your partner’s everlasting love.