Royal Engagement Rings And The Exquisite Stories Behind Them

Royal engagement rings hold a unique kind of depth, symbolizing a union that isn’t just about marriage, but also about the aristocracy. Not only are these gems highly valued, but they are also personalized and have intriguing stories behind them. From a King who stepped down from the throne for his bride to a commoner who rose to the position of Queen, these engagements make your average marriage look like a cakewalk. Read on to discover some truly remarkable rings and the even more exquisite stories behind them.

Meghan Markle’s 3-Carat Cushion Cut Diamond

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Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Chris Jackson/Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Meghan Markle’s engagement ring features a 3-carat cushion cut diamond in the center, flanked by two slightly smaller diamonds. The specially-made ring features two diamonds from Princess Diana’s collection.

The center diamond came from Botswana. Initially, her band was a soft, yellow gold. In 2019, the gems were reset, this time on a micro-pavé band. The stylish ring is perfect for Meghan as it is gorgeous but not over-the-top, as well as noticeable without demanding your attention.

The “Cozy” Proposal

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DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images
DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP via Getty Images

When you imagine a prince proposing to an actress, you probably think of massive ordeal with fireworks and maybe even a flash mob. Prince Harry and Meghan have proven themselves to be far more down-to-Earth than that, though.

So, it’s no surprise that the proposal was intimate and private. While roasting a chicken in their Nottingham Cottage, the Prince got down on one knee and proposed. Meghan said that the “cozy night” was “sweet and natural and very romantic.”

Kate Middleton’s 12-Carat Ceylon Sapphire

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Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Kate Middleton’s large, sapphire engagement ring is impossible to miss against her fair skin. A total of 14 diamonds surround the oval Garrard 12-carat Ceylon sapphire gem and are set in white gold.

The beautiful ring is elegant yet strong, which seems to suit the duchess. The deep color picks up on her dark green eyes. Though the color isn’t clear like a traditional diamond, it goes with any outfit she wears and doesn’t clash with other jewelry.

The Proposal Was At Mount Kenya

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Chris Jackson/Getty Images
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s proposal story is similar to that of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s in one sense: they both took place in cottages. However, William and Kate’s scenario was a little more extravagant.

Rather than being in their own home roasting dinner, they were on vacation in Mount Kenya. They went on the trip with friends, but we would venture to guess that they were alone when the Prince popped the question.

Princess Diana’s Ring Later Became Kate Middleton’s

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Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

If this ring looks familiar, it’s because it’s the same one we just saw on Kate Middleton’s finger! Indeed, Kate and Prince William’s proposal held special meaning in that he offered her the engagement ring that once belonged to Princess Diana.

The Princess was known for her grace and charm, and wore the 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire ring with grace. The deep color made Diana’s big, blue eyes all the more radiant and underscored her elegance.

The Secret Proposal

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Pool Photograph/Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images
Pool Photograph/Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Prince Charles proposed to then Lady Diana Spencer at the Buckingham Palace during a private dinner. It’s impossible to say who knew that the engagement occurred when it did because the couple kept the news under wraps for weeks.

Plus, the castle is enormous, featuring a whopping 775 rooms, many of which are off-limits to the public. We love the idea of the couple hiding away in a room few know about to soak in their wedding plans before anyone else caught wind.

Camilla’s Emerald-Cut Diamond

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Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

In 2005, about eight years after Princess Diana tragically passed, Prince Charles asked Camilla Parker for her hand in marriage. This time around, he proposed with a beautiful emerald-cut diamond flanked by two sets of baguette trio diamonds.

At first glance, the ring looks vaguely similar to that of Meghan Markle due to its rectangular shape and the flank design. It’s suiting that Prince Charles proposed with his mother’s ring, while Prince Henry proposed with a similar looking ring to his father’s second wife.

The Forbidden Love

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Hugo Burnand/Pool/Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images
Hugo Burnand/Pool/Tim Graham Picture Library/Getty Images

There is a bit of controversy surrounding Prince Charles’ remarriage to Camilla. Rumor has it that the two were in love decades ago, as they met in the early ’70s. Some believe that since Camilla was already married at the time, she was unattainable.

Others argue that Prince Charles was pressured into marrying Princess Diana, whom he had only known for a short while, because she was more aristocratic. Whatever the real reason, the couple seems happy today.

Queen Elizabeth II’s 3-Carat Round Diamond

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Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images
Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images

At the time that Prince Philip proposed to then Princess Elizabeth, Britain had just come out of WWII and a modest ring seemed the most appropriate. Thus, he had a jeweler craft a 3-carat, round diamond ring.

He also included 10 small diamonds set in platinum that fit on either side of the center diamond. Though the ring isn’t the most extravagant, the story behind how it was created is one of the most touching of the royals.

The Tiara-Turned-Engagement Ring

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Getty Images
Getty Images

When Prince Philip decided he was ready to propose to the Queen-to-be, he wasn’t in the best financial place. His father had abandoned the family, and the war forced his mother to take the children to Paris to find refuge.

Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, came to her son’s rescue when he was strapped for an engagement ring. She offered him one of her precious tiara’s, out of which he crafted the beautiful ring Queen Elizabeth II still wears today.

Grace Kelly’s Ruby And Diamond Eternity Band

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Getty Images
Getty Images

When Prince Rainier III of Monaco proposed to Hollywood actress Grace Kelly, he presented her with a beautiful ruby and diamond infinity band. The gems symbolized his country’s colors, red and white.

Though the ring was stunning and sentimental, the Prince wanted to adorn the star with something more jaw-dropping. Shortly after their engagement, Grace Kelly doted a platinum Cartier 10.47 carat emerald-cut diamond with two baguette diamonds on each side. The famous ring even made an appearance in the film High Society.

He Proposed After Just Three Days!

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Getty Images
Getty Images

While Prince Philip and Princess Diana only had a few dates before becoming engaged, that’s nothing compared to Prince Rainier III and Grace Kelly. The bold royal promptly proposed to the star only three days after meeting her!

The pair met through Alfred Hitchcock during the production of To Catch A Thief. Prince Rainier became spellbound by the accomplished beauty. Albeit abrupt, their love was strong, and the couple remained married until Grace passed in 1982.

Princess Eugenie’s Padparadscha Sapphire

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Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images
Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images

Princess Eugenie’s engagement ring is unique in that its center gem is not a diamond or a blue sapphire, but rather a 3 carat, blush-colored padparadscha sapphire, one of the rarest of its kind.

The stunning gem compliments the York princess’ skin tone and her feminine spirit. Diamonds surround the beautiful gem for an added touch of sparkle, making the ring all the more eye-catching. The gems are set in a soft yellow gold band.

The New Years Day Proposal

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Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images
Jonathan Brady/PA Images via Getty Images

We can only imagine the pressure of someone who isn’t royalty getting ready to propose to someone who is. Such was the case with Jack Brooksbank, who knew he had to make his proposal to Princess Eugenie a special one.

He popped the question while the pair were on a Nicaragua trip, but that’s not all. He also did it on New Year’s Day 2018. What a romantic idea to start the new year in a new phase of your relationship.

Sarah Ferguson’s Burmese Ruby

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Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Many have drawn comparisons between Princess Eugenie’s engagement ring and that of her mother, Sarah Ferguson. Though they don’t feature the same central gem, the designs look similar. Even the way Sarah and Prince Andrew positioned their hands to announce the engagement is like that of Jack and Princess Eugenie.

Sarah’s ring features a Garrard, oval-cut Burmese ruby surrounded by ten diamonds. The red-pink hue and yellow-gold band are some of the features that make it look so similar to Eugenie’s ring.

The Double Proposal

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Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images
Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images

Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew reportedly knew one another as small children but lost touch until 1985. The following year, while on a trip to Floors Castle, Prince Andrew popped the question at midnight.

As romantic as the scene was, Sarah was completely caught off guard and even thought it was a joke. Prince Andrew proposed again the following morning, convincing his bride-to-be that this was, indeed, no joke. It was then that Sarah gave her Prince a resounding “yes.”

Wallis Simpson’s 19.77 Carat Emerald

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Wallis Simpson’s 19.77 carat emerald engagement ring is the largest on this list. It truly looks like a giant “rock” on her finger. The mesmerizing ring also has a heartfelt engraving inside that reads, “We are ours now 27 x 36.”

The “27” marks the day King Edward VIII proposed to the socialite, while the “x” marks the month (October) and the “36” marks the year, 1936. If you think that’s romantic, just wait until you hear what the King sacrificed to marry Wallis.

The Rebellious Proposal

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Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Wallis Simpson may have been a socialite, but she was also an “American divorcee.” She’d been previously married not once, but twice, which at that time was a huge red flag to the royal family.

Despite the blatant disapproval, King Edward VIII proposed to Wallis on the day that her divorce proceedings from her second husband began. The King then declared his abdication, ending his reign. After such a grandiose sacrifice, we’re pleased to announce that Wallis remained by her husband’s side until his death in 1972.

Queen Letizia’s Baguette Band

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Alain BENAINOUS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Alain BENAINOUS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Letizia’s engagement ring isn’t one you may expect to find on the finger of a queen, but that may be the point. After all, Letizia was a news anchor at the time she became engaged to the future King.

Though the ring doesn’t feature an enormous, flashy gem, it does have 16 white diamonds set in the white gold band. At first glance, it may seem common, but in actuality, it is a precious piece, just like the Queen.

Proposing To A “Commoner”

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Alain BENAINOUS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Alain BENAINOUS/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

As we mentioned, Letizia was a news anchor at the time she became engaged to the then Prince of Spain. On top of that, she had been previously married. Little is known about her relationship with King Felipe or the proposal, for the two kept everything under wraps until the big announcement.

Fortunately, King Felipe’s family welcome Letizia into the royal family. In 2014, she became the first commoner Queen of Spain. That’s what we call a Cinderella story.