One of the best things about the impending royal wedding – congratulations Harry and Meghan – is the chance to review our favourite royal engagement rings. Of course, every engagement ring makes a private statement, but when you’re royal – or marrying one – you can guarantee it will be seen around the world. Which royal engagement ring is your favourite pick?
Our Top 10 Royal Engagement Ring Picks
1. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
The future Duchess of Sussex’s engagement ring was designed by Prince Harry using a diamond he sourced from Botswana, flanked by two smaller diamonds from his mother, Princess Diana’s collection. “The little diamonds on either side are from my mother’s jewellery collection to make sure that she’s with us on this crazy journey together,” said Prince Harry.
2. Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten
She was the heir to the throne when she became engaged to the dashing naval officer from the Greek royal family so Elizabeth’s royal engagement ring naturally had royal connections. Philip used diamonds that came from a tiara belonging to his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg. Now, 71 years after their wedding, Queen Elizabeth II still wears that ring along with her Welsh gold wedding band.
3. Prince Charles and Diana Spencer
Diana’s blue Ceylon sapphire surrounded by diamonds was chosen from a selection presented to her by Garrard’s Jewellers. The 18.5ct sapphire matched the future princess’s eyes and is encircled by 14 diamonds. When asked why she chose that engagement ring, she was once quoted as saying, “because it was the biggest.”
4. Prince William and Katherine Middleton
While Katherine, now the Duchess of Cambridge, could have had any engagement ring in the world, Prince William presented her with his mother, Princess Diana’s ring. It was purchased by Prince Charles for GBP28,000 in 1981 but is now considered priceless and has been much copied. “Obviously, she’s not going to be around to share in any of the fun and excitement of it all,” said Prince William on their engagement, “so this is my way of keeping her sort of close to it all.”
5. Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson
She was known for her love of luxury jewellery and Edward certainly indulged her desires for precious gemstones. Wallis Simpson’s royal engagement ring was an enormous 19.77ct emerald that bore the inscription “We are ours now 27 X 36.” That was shorthand for the day Edward proposed, October 27, 1936. He abdicated the British throne on December 11, 1936, and the pair were married in France the following year.
6. Prince Rainier of Monaco and Grace Kelly
Hollywood beauty Grace Kelly originally received a Cartier eternity band of rubies and diamonds from her prince. However, this was replaced with an eye-popping 10.5ct emerald-cut diamond paired with two baguettes when Prince Rainier saw that other leading ladies were wearing much larger rings than his bride.
7. Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank
The daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson became engaged in January this year. Her fiance, hospitality king Jack, presented her with an engagement ring that contains a padparadscha sapphire surrounded by diamonds in a design similar to her mother’s.
8. Prince Frederik and Mary Donaldson
They met in Sydney, but it was a strictly Danish affair when Crown Prince Frederik proposed to our Mary. Her royal engagement ring – an emerald-cut diamond flanked by two ruby baguettes – represented the Danish flag. Since their marriage in 2004, the couple has noteworthily added a diamond to either side of this patriotic ring.
9. Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones
Photographer and bon vivant Armstrong-Jones designed the princess’s engagement ring himself. It was a ruby surrounded by diamonds and designed to look like a rose, in celebration of her middle name.
10. Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles
The now-Duchess of Cornwall’s Art Deco engagement ring was once owned by the Queen Mother and was given to her by her longtime love, Prince Charles. The platinum ring is made up of a large central diamond, flanked by three baguette diamonds on either side and is one of the largest rings in the Royal Family’s collection.