08 February 2021

British Royal Engagement Rings: An Updated Look

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February is the month when we turn our attention to love, Cupid, and all things Valentine. To celebrate, today I've got an updated look at a set of British royal jewels that are (mostly) all about romance: royal engagement rings. Enjoy!


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The Duke of Edinburgh proposed to Britain's current monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, in 1947 with a diamond ring made by Philip Antrobus. He commissioned the ring, which features a round three-carat brilliant stone flanked by smaller pavé-set diamonds set in platinum. The diamonds in the ring are from a tiara given to his mother, Princess Andrew, by Emperor Nicholas II and Empress Alexandra of Russia.


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When the Prince of Wales proposed to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981, he offered her a selection of engagement rings to choose from. She picked this diamond and sapphire cluster ring, set in white gold, from Garrard's existing stock.


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Sarah Ferguson's vibrant red hair was on the Duke of York's mind when he selected this diamond and ruby cluster engagement ring for her in 1986. The ring, which was made by Garrard and features a bright Burmese ruby, is still in Sarah's collection post-divorce. Sarah wasn't the only recent Windsor bride to wear a ruby engagement ring; Princess Margaret also received a ruby ring from the Earl of Snowdon.


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The Princess Royal's Engagement Ring

Princess Anne has been married twice, and both of her engagement rings featured sapphires. Mark Phillips proposed with a Garrard ring featuring a central sapphire flanked by a pair of diamonds in 1973, while Sir Timothy Laurence presented her with a cabochon sapphire with a trio of small diamonds on either side (pictured above) in 1992.


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The Countess of Wessex's Engagement Ring

The Earl of Wessex went for a classic, all-diamond ring when he proposed to Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999. The ring, made by Garrard, features a central two-carat oval diamond hugged by smaller heart-shaped stones. It's set in 18-carat white gold.


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The Prince of Wales looked to the royal vault for a ring when he proposed to Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005. The Art Deco-style diamond and platinum ring, which features a large central diamond flanked on either side by three diamond baguettes, belonged to the Queen Mother.


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Autumn Phillips's Engagement Ring

Autumn Kelly received another classic diamond ring from Princess Anne's son, Peter Phillips, in 2007. The white gold ring is set with a trio of diamonds, including an oval-shaped central stone.


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Royal watchers gave a collective gasp when Prince William proposed to Catherine Middleton in 2010 using the same diamond and sapphire cluster ring that his father, the Prince of Wales, had given to his mother, Lady Diana Spencer. William noted that using his late mother's ring was his way of making sure she was included in his engagement and wedding.


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Zara Tindall's Engagement Ring

This ring arrived in the Windsor family in December 2010, when Mike Tindall proposed to Princess Anne's daughter, Zara Phillips. He presented her with large diamond solitaire set on a double platinum band with pavé-set diamonds.


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When Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle in their cottage on the grounds of Kensington Palace in 2017, he offered her a ring that he helped design himself. The gold ring, made by Cleave and Co., is set with a trio of diamonds. The central diamond was sourced from Botswana, a place that is important to the couple. The smaller diamonds on either side come from the collection of his mother, the late Diana, Princess of Wales. Later, the ring was updated to include a pavé-set diamond band as well.


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Jack Brooksbank proposed to Princess Eugenie of York in Nicaragua in January 2018. The cluster ring he gave her is similar to the ruby engagement ring worn by her mother, Sarah, Duchess of York, but Eugenie's is set with a padparadscha sapphire.


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In Italy in September 2019, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi proposed to Princess Beatrice of York with a ring of diamonds set in platinum, with a 2.5 carat diamond sourced from Botswana as the center stone. The band of the ring is also features pavé-set diamonds. British jeweler Shaun Leane made the ring "in close collaboration" with Edoardo, with an aim at fusing together the couple's personal styles.