Most interesting royal wedding rings
Since ancient Egyptian times, wedding rings are a symbol of commitment to your significant other. Through the centuries, royal engagement rings have been fascinating inspirations to many of us.
A wedding ring is a symbol of commitment, attachment, love, and affection in a relationship, a pure reminder of how much your spouse means to you. The ring, shaped like a circle, has no beginning or end, symbolising eternal love.
It was believed that the vein in the fourth finger of the left hand leads directly to the heart, therefore the wedding ring should be worn on this finger.
Wearing your wedding ring shows that you are attached to the person you are married to and that they hold significant meaning in your life. A wedding ring should be always personal, meaningful for you and your spouse. However, not so many know that the metal/colour of the ring also has an underlying meaning.
Rosé gold wedding rings represent deep love. Yellow gold represents tradition and faithfulness. White gold represents friendship. Platinum has also become popular due to its hypoallergenic characteristic that will not irritate those with sensitive skin.
When one is looking for inspiration it is easy to be enchanted by the most interesting royal wedding rings. Here are just a few to mention.
Queen Victoria’s engagement ring
Even though luxury is reserved for the aristocratic ruling class, during the reign of Queen Victoria the demand was highly increased for jewellery and especially to own a diamond engagement ring.
In 1839, Prince Albert presented Queen Victoria with an 18-carat gold, serpent engagement ring featuring a large emerald at the centre, representing Victoria’s birthstone. Prince Albert himself designed the ring with its unusual serpent shape which represents an ancient Roman symbol for everlasting love.
As a symbol of everlasting love, it is believed that Queen Victoria was wearing this ring when she was buried.
Alexandra of Denmark’s engagement ring
1862, Edward VII proposed to Alexandra of Denmark with a gold acrostic style ring, featuring gemstones of beryl, emerald, ruby, topaz, and jacinth.
Acrostic jewellery is known as the way to express love through the first letters of each gemstone. It was very popular during the Victorian era thanks to Jean-Baptiste Mellerio (1765-1850), the jewellery designer to Marie Antoinette.
Wallis Simpson’s engagement ring
Perhaps one of the most controversial engagements was between King Edward VIII and American actress Wallis Simpson, as Edward had to abdicate the throne to marry Wallis. The scandal was topped with the fact that the American socialite had been divorced already twice before getting engaged to Edward on October 27, 1936.
The engagement ring featured a rectangular step-cut emerald, sat within a set with 14 brilliant-cut diamonds. Edward also engraved it with the words: “We are ours now 27 X 36.”, which is shorthand for the day of the proposal.
Despite all the scandal and disapproval, the couple remained together until the death of Edward.
Queen Elizabeth II’s engagement ring
When Prince Phillip proposed to Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral Castle in 1946, he picked a square-cut diamond engagement ring with diamond side stones.
Interestingly, the diamonds that are representing the everlasting symbols of splendour, came from a tiara belonging to Philip’s mother, Princess Andrew of Greece.
Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton’s engagement ring
One of the most recognised engagement rings of all time is Kate Middleton’s sapphire engagement ring which was originally made for Princess Diana.
Sapphire was one of the famous stones of Queen Victoria. Prince Albert regularly purchased sapphire jewellery for her. One of the most significant of them is the famous sapphire and diamond brooch that Queen Elizabeth inherited and often wears. It is rumoured that this brooch was the original inspiration for the sapphire engagement ring of Princess Diana which she picked out personally from a selection of publicly accessible designs by Garrard, the then crown jeweller. Something that reminded her of her mother’s engagement ring.
The 18-karat white gold ring features a 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire surrounded with 14 solitaire diamonds. The engagement of Lady Diana Spencer and Charles, Prince of Wales was officially announced on February 24, 1981, however, it took place already on February 06, 1981.
In 1997, after Diana passed away, Prince Harry inherited the ring, however later he offered it to Prince William to propose to Kate Middleton.
Interestingly, Prince Harry’s wife Meghan Markle wore an enormous, emerald-cut aquamarine ring at her wedding reception in May 2018, the ring that Princess Diana used after the divorce was finalised.
Princess Eugenie of York’s engagement ring
In the British Royal Family, the sapphire became prominently the engagement ring. The name is originated from the Greek word “sappheiros” meaning blue colour.
Staying true to the royal tradition, Princess Eugenie of York was proposed to by Jack Brooksbank with a sapphire engagement ring but with a twist. Her engagement ring features a pink padparadscha sapphire, which is amongst the rarest and most valuable sapphires in the world thanks to its unusual pink and orange colour.
Sarah Ferguson’s engagement ring
One of the most lavish engagement ring designs is often contributed to Prince Andrew’s ruby engagement ring to Sarah Ferguson.
The ring features an oval-cut Burmese ruby, surrounded by 10 diamonds in a floral arrangement and set on a yellow gold band. The ruby is an homage to Sarah’s fiery, red hair.
Duchess Camilla Parker Bowles
Camilla Parker Bowles’s engagement ring features a fabulous huge emerald-cut diamond at the centre of a set of baguette-cut diamonds on the shoulders.
The base of the ring has been laid in radiant and classic yellow gold, which makes it glow in contrast.
Queen Letizia of Spain
The wife of King Felipe VI, Queen Letizia has a simple yet majestic engagement ring. Set in white gold, the eternity band-shaped ring sparkles with sixteen baguette-cut diamonds.
The ring is a charming, yet minimalistic one with a symbolical promise of eternity and everlasting love. This makes it even more poetically beautiful.
Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle
Meghan Markle’s wedding ring was a great surprise to the public, as it was designed by Prince Harry himself. This stunning and fresh-looking engagement ring features three cushion-cut diamonds, set in classic yellow gold.
While the central diamond in the trilogy ring is sourced from Botswana, the flanking diamonds are taken from the treasured collection of gems of Princess Diana.
Grace Kelly’s wedding ring
Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1956, it was a wedding that went down in history.
Prince Rainier III originally imagined an equally stunning eternity band, featuring red rubies and white diamonds to represent the colours of Monaco’s flag. This was the original ring that the Prince used when he proposed to Grace Kelly in December 1955.
The final wedding ring was a stunning, 10.48-carat emerald-cut ring flanked by two baguette-cut side stones, resulting in one of the most astonishing pieces of jewellery from Cartier.