Fit For a Queen: Royal Engagement Ring Inspiration
By Andrea Harrell , Friday, March 11, 2011 5:09 AM
The upcoming royal wedding between Prince William of England and Kate Middleton has given the whole world royal wedding fever. Ever since Prince William popped the question to his long-time girlfriend back in the fall, using his mother’s iconic sapphire engagement ring, the whole world has been waiting to see how Kate, a non-royal British beauty, would inhabit the role of princess on her wedding day. In honor of that anticipation, let’s take a look at some of the most gorgeous and iconic diamond engagement rings worn by members of the royal family in the past, all of which serve as terrific inspiration for someone looking to bring a little princess sparkle into their own diamond ring.
When Grace Kelly, Hollywood princess, became Princess Grace of Monaco, everyone knew her engagement ring would be fit for true royalty. At first, Prince Ranier III of Monaco proposed with a simple ruby and diamond eternity band, but when he saw the rocks that other movie stars were sporting, he added a 10.5 carat emerald-cut diamond ring to the mix. A simple, heartfelt proposal and then an eye-popping diamond ring later? That’s what we call the perfect man. Channel Grace’s simplicity with a ruby and diamond engagement ring, or go into full princess mode with an emerald-cut diamond flanked by baguette diamonds.
When you think of a queen, you think of symbols of ancient power and strong traditions. So it only makes sense that Queen Elizabeth II’s diamond engagement ring was actually custom made using heirloom diamonds from her mother’s crown. Taking beautiful diamonds from an outdated but sentimental piece of jewelry and incorporating them into a modern new engagement ring is a fantastic way to combine something old with something new.
The Duchess of Windsor and Edward VIII have a truly romantic story. After he abdicated the throne in order to marry her, he presented her with a simply elegant emerald engagement ring that was engraved on the inside with the message, “We are ours now” and the date, October 27, 1936. Channel their tale of star-crossed love with a tsavorite engagement ring with your own special romantic message engraved inside.
Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, is known for her fiery red hair and quick wit. Prince Andrew wanted to incorporate her redhead personality into the engagement ring he chose for her, so he opted for a ruby and diamond three stone ring—fusing her unique personality with age-old tradition. Even if you don’t have red hair, a ruby makes a stunning contrast with a colorless diamond and a rich yellow gold setting.
The three stone ring has been steadily rising in popularity, but it received a boost of royal attention when Prince Edward proposed to Sophie, the Countess of Wessex with a two-carat oval diamond flanked with two smaller side stones. Whether you choose an oval center stone or the more traditional round stone, a three stone ring is a powerful symbol of a couple’s past, present and future together.
Of course, no collection of royal diamond engagement rings is complete without the most famous ring of all—the sapphire and diamond extravaganza that had the whole world talking when Princess Diana first wore it, and then again when soon-to-be Princess Kate Middleton debuted it on her ring finger. Rumor has it that Diana picked the ring out herself, but why she chose the weighty sapphire instead of a more traditional diamond is something we will never know. Hop on the sapphire and diamond bandwagon when it comes to choosing your own diamond ring, but make it yours by opting for a unique take on this royal style. This split shank ring features a diamond pavé setting that contrast wonderfully with the deep blue of the center stone, making it a classic and timeless engagement ring choice.
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