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Royal Engagement Rings Throughout History

04 December 2017
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After the announcement of Meghan Markle & Prince Harry’s engagement, it’s time to look at the Royal family’s engagement rings throughout history.

It's no secret that the British Royal Family own an incredible jewellery collection. From the Crown jewels to the diamond encrusted necklaces and that sapphire and diamond halo engagement ring, we can't help but be emerald green with envy when it comes to the Royal Family's sparkling collection.

On 28th November 2017, the Family announced Prince Harry was formally engaged to American actress, Meghan Markle.. The UK's favourite ginger and the Suits actress gave their first interview at the BBC, after revealing a stunning trilogy gold diamond engagement ring, crafted from Harry's late Mother's jewels. The central stone is a cushion cut diamond from Botswana, surrounded by two round diamonds from Diana's jewellery collection.



How much is Meghan Markle's engagement ring worth?

The value of Meghan Markle's stunning yellow gold diamond engagement ring is estimated to be between £70,000 - £115,000. But don't worry if this is a little out of your price range - you can get one at Diamond Heaven for as little as £1,103. Buy your dream ring here.

Following the betrothal of Harry and Meghan, we thought we'd look at some of our favourite engagement rings throughout the reigning monarchs history - comment below to let us know what your favourites are!

1923 - The Queen Mother & King George VI - platinum sapphire & diamond engagement ring

When the second son of King George V, Prince Albert  ‘Bertie' first met Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (later on known as the Queen Mother), he was smitten. Bertie (who would become King Edward VI) first asked for Lady Elizabeth's hand in marriage in 1921, but she refused. Adamant that Lady Elizabeth was the love of his life, he refused to marry anyone else. In 1923, Prince Albert proposed once more with an oval cut sapphire engagement ring set in platinum and flanked in small diamonds. The King and Queen married in Westminster Abbey and went on to have two daughters, Elizabeth II (later on Queen Elizabeth II) and Princess Margaret. After the death of King Edward VI in 1952,  Elizabeth stopped wearing her engagement ring in favour of a pearl ring.



 

1936 - Wallis Simpson & King Edward VIII - emerald & gold engagement ring.

The last time a member of the Royal family chose to marry an American, The Duke of Windsor chose to abdicate the throne after 11 months in order to wed. The relationship between King George's brother, King Edward VIII and American socialite was one that caused controversy, and the 20-carat gold Cartier emerald engagement ring with a diamond leaf setting was just as controversial. The couple were married for 35 years, until the Duke of Windsor died in 1972. Wallis Simpson passed away in 1986, and was buried next to her late husband.




1960 - Princess Margaret & Antony Armstrong-Jones - ruby and diamond engagement ring

Princess Margaret's relationships were prolific in publications across the world. For her first marriage to Antony Armstrong-Jones, Queen Elizabeth's younger sister was gifted a ruby ring, described as "a ruby set like a rosebud with a diamond marguerite". The turbulent and volatile marriage was often in the press, and ended in divorce 18 years later. Both Princess Margaret  & Antony went on to remarry.




1963 - Princess Alexandra & Sir Angus Ogilvy - sapphire & gold engagement ring.

In 1963, Queen Elizabeth II's cousin, Princess Alexandra of Kent was gifted a large cabochon sapphire engagement ring set in gold by Sir Angus Ogilvy. The couple married at Westminster Abbey on 24 April 1963, and 200 million people watched the ceremony. The couple were married for 41 years and had two children - James and Marina. Angus Ogilvy passed away aged 76 after being treated for cancer and pneumonia.


 

1973 - Princess Anne & Mark Phillips - trilogy sapphire & diamond ring

Princess Anne met her first husband, Mark Phillips at the Munich Olympics in 1972. Mark had won the Equestrian gold medal, and they shared a passion for horses. In 1973, Mark Phillips asked for Princess Anne's hand in marriage, with a trilogy sapphire and diamond engagement ring. The couple said their vows in Westminster Abbey, which was televised and watched by over 100 million people. They had two children, Zara and Philip, and announced their divorce in 1992. Princess Anne then married her second husband, Timothy Laurence three months later.




 

1981 - Lady Diana Spencer & Prince Charles - sapphire & diamond halo ring

Prince Charles proposed to Lady Diana Spencer in 1981 with an iconic oval blue Ceylon sapphire 18-karat white gold engagement ring. At the time of the engagement, the ring was estimated to be worth £28,000. The couple married in St Paul's Cathedral in on 29th July 1981, which was televised and had a global audience of 750 million. Throughout their marriage, Diana was heralded as the "people's princess". Before their very public separation in 1992 and divorce in 1996, the couple had two children - Prince William and Prince Harry. Princess Diana and her partner Dodi Fayed were killed in a car crash in 1997, and Prince Charles went on to marry The Duchess of Cornwall, Camilla.

 


1992 - Princess Anne & Sir Timothy Laurence - sapphire and diamond engagement ring

After divorcing her first husband Mark Phillips, Princess Anne went onto marry Navy Captain, Sir Timothy Laurence. The pair met in 1986, when rumours were rife about the breakdown of Mark and Anne's marriage. Tim gifted the Princess with a multi-stone sapphire and diamond engagement ring, and they married in Crathie Parish Church, Ballater, near Balmoral.





2005 - Prince Charles & Camilla Parker-Bowles - vintage baguette diamond ring

Camilla Parker-Bowles and Prince Charles dated after they met during the 1970's, but both went on to marry other people (Princess Diana and Andrew Parker-Bowles). Camilla and Charles' relationship was very controversial, as five years into Charles and Diana's marriage, it was revealed that Camilla and Charles were having an affair. The pair were scorned by the country, and it was thought they would never re-couple. However, they defied all odds and debuted their relationship in 1999. Charles proposed to Camilla with a Windsor family heirloom - The Queen Mother's 1920's platinum six diamond baguette engagement ring. The central stone is a princess cut diamond flanked six diamond baguettes. They married by a Civil Ceremony in Windsor Guildhall.



2010 - Catherine Middleton & Prince William - sapphire & diamond halo ring

Catherine (Kate) Middleton and Prince William met in 2001 at St Andrews University. They announced their engagement in October 2010, and Prince William gave Kate his late Mother, Diana's blue sapphire engagement ring. The couple said their vows in April 2011, and the event itself attracted a lot of media attention across the globe - it became a public holiday in the UK. The couple married in Westminster Abbey, and the ceremony was watched live by tens of millions more around the world, including 72 million live streams on YouTube. Kate and Wills went on to have two children, Charlotte and George, and are currently expecting their third.