The Most Spectacular Royal Engagement Rings, from Princess Diana to Grace Kelly
Regal sapphires, royal rubies and the queen's diamonds, oh my! From Queen Elizabeth’s gorgeous three-carat solitaire to Grace Kelly’s massive 11-carat rock, there are plenty of royal engagement rings worth drooling over. But beautiful bling aside, the blinding shine of the royals' engagement rings often comes with a side of drama. (Think: Multiple marriages, stones from a Romanov dynasty tiara and even post-divorce ring-wearing...). Here, all the royal wedding rings you need to know about.
1. Meghan Markle
Prince Harry proposed to the Duchess of Sussex in November 2017 with a tri-diamond engagement ring, featuring a large square center diamond from Botswana (where they had their first date together) nestled between two diamonds from Princess Diana’s private collection, all set on a plain gold band. It's estimated to be about 6.5 carats total, with the center stone carrying about 5. However, the duchess caused a stir when, on June 8 at last year’s Trooping the Colour celebrations, she showed off a stack including a diamond-covered half-band on her engagement ring. It’s believed that Markle added the pavé detail sometime during her maternity leave with royal baby Archie.
2. Kate Middleton
Kate Middleton couldn’t tear her gaze away from the stunning sapphire ring during the couple’s official engagement photocall in November 2010, and we totally understand why. This is the original engagement ring that Princess Diana received from Prince Charles in February 1981. The ring features a 12-carat oval blue Ceylon faceted sapphire, which is surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds. The ring’s setting is made from 18K white gold. It was resized for Kate on a smaller platinum band, and is reportedly worth more than $500,000.
3. Princess Diana
Charles proposed to Diana with a ring made by then-crown jeweler House of Garrard. The design was similar to the late princess’s mother’s engagement ring, and it’s also said to bear a resemblance to Queen Victoria's sapphire-and-diamond wedding brooch, which was chosen for her by Prince Albert. The ring is very unique, however, in that the late Princess of Wales selected it from the Garrard catalog (it was available to purchase by anyone). After she separated from Prince Charles in 1992, Diana continued to wear the bling until the divorce was finalized in 1996.
4. Queen Elizabeth
Prince Philip crafted the queen’s three-carat diamond ring using stones from the tiara collection of his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg. (Reportedly, the tiara was a wedding gift to Princess Alice from Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra, the last of the Russian Romanov family.) The ring features a solitaire three-carat diamond surrounded by five smaller pavé diamonds on each side on a classic platinum band. Prince Philip and the queen announced their engagement on July 9,1947, and were married November 20 of the same year.
5. Princess Beatrice
Princess Beatrice, 31, and real estate tycoon Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, 34, became engaged during a trip to Italy in September 2019. Mozzi proposed to the eldest daughter of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson with a ring he designed himself. The engagement ring is a 2.5 carat round-brilliant diamond flanked by two small round diamonds, then a 0.75 carat baguette on either side and is set in a platinum half-pavé band. The ring has two very special connections to Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex: It was designed by Bea's fiance Edo with the help of jeweler Shaun Leane (one of Markle's go-to jewelry designers), and the stones are from Botswana and ethically sourced, just like the duchess's.
6. Princess Eugenie
Very similar to her mother Sarah Ferguson’s engagement ring from Prince Andrew, Eugenie was given a floral-style ring with a diamond halo by her now-husband, Jack Brooksbank, in January 2018. The piece contains a rare light pink Padparadscha sapphire center stone (estimated to be about three carats) surrounded by a halo of diamonds on a Welsh yellow gold band. The royal couple designed the ring together.
7. Grace Kelly
The princess of Monaco had not one but two engagement rings. Prince Rainier III of Monaco originally proposed to the American actress in 1956 with a ruby and diamond eternity ring by Cartier. Later, Prince Rainier gave Kelly a second piece of Cartier bling: a 10.48-carat emerald-cut diamond with two large baguettes on either side, all set on a platinum band (pictured on the right). The latter reportedly cost a whopping $4.06 million.
8. Sarah Ferguson
Designed by famed London jeweler House of Garrard, the ring given to Fergie by Prince Andrew, Duke of York, contained a Burma ruby encircled by ten drop-diamonds, and is uncannily similar to her daughter Princess Eugenie’s engagement ring from Jack Brooksbank (see above). Fergie and the duke were engaged on March 19, 1986, and tied the knot four months later in Westminster Abbey before their divorce in 1996.
9. Queen Letizia of Spain
Former TV news anchor Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano became engaged to King Felipe VI (then Prince of Asturias) on November 1, 2003. The heir apparent to the Spanish throne gave Letizia a 16-baguette diamond engagement ring with a white gold trim. The couple were married six months later, and became King and Queen Consort of Spain in June 2014.
10. Camilla Parker Bowles
Camilla and Prince Charles were engaged on February 10, 2005. The prince popped the question with a ring that features a massive five-carat emerald-cut diamond in the center, flanked by three diamond baguettes on each side. It once belonged to the Queen Mother, Prince Charles's grandmother.
11. Princess Anne
The queen’s only daughter married Captain Mark Phillips in 1973 (before they were divorced in 1992), who proposed with a sapphire-and-diamond engagement ring (pictured on the right). She then married Timothy Lawrence on December 12, 1992, and he also gave her a sapphire ring, this time with three smaller diamonds on either side.
12. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
The Crown Princess of Sweden married Prince Daniel in 2010, after he gave her a simple yet elegant single diamond ring. The diamond solitaire is set on a white gold band and, despite its unfussy design, is a bit contentious. The ring breaks with Swedish royal tradition, since the monarchy used to exchange simple gold bands to mark their engagements.
13. Princess Margaret
The queen’s younger sister was married to Antony Armstrong-Jones from 1960 until their divorce in 1978. The photographer proposed to Margaret with a ruby-and-diamond piece (similar to the one above, which is also from the late princess’s private collection) that was designed to look like a rosebud. It reportedly signified Margaret’s middle name, Rose.
14. Wallis Simpson
The Duke of Windsor proposed to American socialite (and *gasp!* divorcée) Wallis Simpson on October 27, 1936, with this emerald stunner by Cartier. The relationship caused a constitutional crisis in Great Britain, and ended with Edward VIII abdicating the throne in order to marry Simpson. “We are ours now 27 X 36” was engraved on the inside of the band holding the whopping 19.77-carat rectangular emerald. The numbers stood for the date of their engagement (27th day of the tenth month of 1936).