We all know that being part of the British royal family means access to breathtaking family heirlooms and engagement rings created by the world’s best jewellers. Sentimental value, coloured gemstones and massive carat size: these all are about British royal engagement rings.
Queen Elizabeth II
There is a sweet story behind this engagement ring, as when Prince Philip was getting ready to propose to Queen Elizabeth, he knew he would need a ring to fit for a Queen. So he turned to his mother Princess Alice of Battenberg, and she gave him a diamond and aquamarine encrusted tiara that she had been given as a wedding gift. Prince Philip took the diamonds from the tiara and repurposed them into an engagement ring. The result is a three carat brilliant cut diamond solitaire with five pave set diamonds on each side in a classic platinum setting. Queen Elizabeth II wears her engagement ring along with her wedding band made of Welsh gold.
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon
Queen Elizabeth’s sister Princess Margaret received a ruby engagement ring which was designed by her husband-to-be photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones. This royal engagement ring features a ruby surrounded by diamonds. The design was created to look like a rosebud to honour the princess’s middle name, Rose.
For the first marriage to Capitan Mark Phillips, Princess Anne was given a classic ring featuring a sapphire between two diamonds. From her second husband-to-be, Sir Timothy Laurence, she received an engagement ring with cabochon cut sapphire with three small diamonds on each side.
Diana, Princess of Wales
Lady Diana Spencer was wearing an engagement ring featuring a large 12-carat oval sapphire surrounded by 14 round diamonds and set in white gold. Prince Charles actually didn’t present Diana with the ring when he proposed; instead let her choose from several rings. The ring was made by Garrard and unusually for royal engagement ring it was not bespoke. This ring has become the most famous engagement ring and perhaps the most copied jewellery.
Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge
You may recognize the ring on Kate Middleton’s finger as the same one Prince William’s mother Diana. Prince William said that giving the ring to Cathrine was his way of making sure his mother didn’t miss out on his wedding day.
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall
For his second marriage, the Prince of Wales presented Camilla Parker with a ring that belonged to his grandmother, the Queen Mother. This sunning heirloom features an emerald cut diamond with three baguette cut diamonds on each side.
Sarah, Duchess of York
Like Princess Diana, Sarah Ferguson also received an engagement ring from Garrard. Her engagement ring features an oval Burmese ruby surrounded by 10 diamonds set in yellow gold. Like all other Windsors she is wearing it together with a wedding band made of Welsh gold.
Meghan, Duchess of Sussex
Meghan Markle wears an engagement ring designed by Cleave and Company, the Queen’s preferred jeweller. It features ethically-sourced centre diamond from Botswana, where she and Prince Harry first vacationed and fell in love. The centre stone is accompanied by two round diamonds on each side from Prince Harry’s mother Lady Diana brooch. “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,” Prince Harry said.