13 Engagement Rings Whose Story Could Form the Basis of a Fascinating Romance
The tradition of wearing wedding rings goes back to Ancient Rome. Since then, this piece of jewelry has gone through many transformations as people continue to dream about having something special to signify their love. We decided to find out the stories of unique wedding rings which have become part of history.
Queen Elizabeth’s engagement ring
Queen Elizabeth II and her mother-in-law — Princess Alice of Battenberg
Prince Philip proposed to Elizabeth II in 1946, and she still wears the ring he proposed to her with. Its history is unique. Knowing about her son’s intention to marry, Philip’s mother Alice gave him her tiara, which was given to her for her wedding. Philip took the diamonds for the ring from it, and also made a bracelet for his bride.
The engagement ring of Princess Diana and Kate Middleton
It is a known fact that Princess Diana wore this unusual ring before Kate. In 1981, when Diana and Charles got engaged, the jewelry generated a lot of publicity because the ring had been purchased in a store for $60,000, and wasn’t tailor-made, as it should be done for a member of the royal family. Anyone could buy the same ring, which was contrary to royal traditions.
But the story behind the ring is interesting and not just because of this. It’s believed that Charles was inspired by Queen Victoria’s brooch when choosing a ring for Diana. And this brooch is a real heirloom that has belonged to the royal family since the middle of the 19th century.
The engagement ring of Camilla Parker Bowles
Camilla and Charles’ love affair lasted for many years, even when they were both married to other people. In 2005, the couple was finally able to make their relationship official, and Charles gave Camilla a ring with an impressive diamond. In the 1980s, the ring belonged to the mother of Elizabeth II.
However, it’s not known to whom this piece of jewelry belonged before that. In 2005, the ring was named a family heirloom, but its history was never revealed.
The engagement ring of Meghan Markle
Meghan’s unusual ring consisted of 3 diamonds on a gold band: a large diamond in the middle and 2 smaller ones around it. These 2 smaller diamonds once belonged to Princess Diana. It’s interesting that in 2019, Markle redesigned the piece of jewelry: the band became thinner, and was covered with tiny stones.
The initial look of the ring
The ring redesigned
The ring was redesigned shortly before Harry and Meghan announced their decision to lead an independent life. Many people saw a hidden meaning in this. However, it’s believed that the woman who recently gave birth simply had to enlarge the ring, and at the same time, she changed the design a little. Plus Markle began to wear 2 more thin rings along with her engagement ring.
The engagement ring of Sarah Ferguson
The former daughter-in-law of Elizabeth II, who was married to the Queen’s second son, wore an unusual engagement ring. It had an oval-shaped ruby surrounded by diamonds. It was rumored that Prince Andrew chose this gem to complement Sarah’s red hair.
The engagement ring of Princess Eugenie
In 2018, their daughter, Princess Eugenie, wore an engagement ring that bore a striking resemblance to her mother’s ring. But its main difference was that it’s not a ruby, but a sapphire in a similar shade.
Mary of Teck used to wear a ring with these stones, and her fiancé died before their wedding at the age of 28. Princess Margaret is believed to have been unhappy in her marriage and she passed away early. She used to wear a ruby ring too. Sarah Ferguson was the third one, and she divorced Prince Andrew. Since then, the Windsors have tried to avoid rubies.
The engagement ring of Queen Máxima
Queen Máxima of the Netherlands wears a rare orange diamond engagement ring. This color stone was chosen by her husband for a reason: it’s a reference to the house of Orange-Nassau, to which the ruling dynasty belongs.
It’s interesting that Máxima wears the ring on both her left and right hand. It’s believed that the reason for this is the difference in marriage traditions because the Queen of the Netherlands is from Argentina.
The engagement ring of Joséphine
When 26-year-old Napoleon proposed to a widow with 2 children, who was 6 years older than him, his family was shocked. However, he loved Joséphine so passionately that he insisted on her retaining the title of empress even after their divorce, and continued to provide for her and her children from her first marriage.
A replica of Joséphine’s ring
The engagement ring also reflected how deep Napoleon’s affection for Joséphine was. The ring was quite modest because his position was fairly low at that time, but it was still sentimental and extravagant. The ring consisted of 2 pear-shaped stones: a sapphire and a diamond, which symbolized 2 lovers.
Subsequently, Joséphine gave this ring to her daughter, and this piece of jewelry was passed down to the descendants of the Empress for another 2 centuries. In 2013, it was auctioned. The starting price was $20,000, but it was eventually sold for $950,000.
The engagement ring of Audrey Hepburn
The first husband of the actress took into account her conservative and elegant style and gave her 3 rings that would match it, in his opinion: one in rose gold, one in yellow, and one in white, adorned with diamonds. At that time, this combination of metals was quite unusual, so Audrey was ahead of fashion by at least half a century.
But, often, Hepburn wore only one ring at a time, which once again spoke of her love for a strict and graceful style. Today the cost of this set would be about $10,000, which is quite a modest amount for a star like Hepburn.
The wedding ring of Marilyn Monroe
In 1954, Monroe agreed to marry baseball player Joe DiMaggio. The ring he gave her looked very original for that time. It didn’t have a central large stone, and it was entirely set with narrow baguette-cut diamonds. In 1999, the ring was sold at an auction for $772,500.
There is a theory that Joe gave Marilyn one ring first, and then replaced it with another. The supporters of this theory say that the first piece of jewelry was a family heirloom of the baseball player’s and he gave it in a hurry because he proposed spontaneously. It’s believed that Joe kept this ring, and gave his wife another one, which was sold at the auction.
The engagement ring of Elizabeth Taylor
This movie star was married 8 times, and each spouse seemed to be trying to surpass the previous one with the size of the engagement ring. Actor Richard Burton, whom Taylor married and divorced twice, gave her a 33-carat diamond ring.
It’s believed that this diamond was faceted sometime before 1920. The first owner was Vera Krupp, but in 1959 her ranch was robbed, and of course, they took the huge diamond ring. The loss was found, and the jewel was returned to the owner. After the incident, Vera would keep the ring pinned to her bra at all times.
After the death of Krupp, the ring was put up for auction and was bought by Richard Burton for $305,000. Taylor showed off the gorgeous ring everywhere she went. After her death, the ring was named after her and sold for $8.8 million.
Queen Margrethe II of Denmark’s engagement ring
Queen Margrethe II’s engagement ring is made in the old style toi et moi, which means “you and me” in French. The toi et moi style was popular in the nineteenth century, inspired by a diamond and sapphire engagement ring given to Josephine de Beauharnais by Napoleon Bonaparte. Since Queen Margrethe II is a direct descendant of Josephine, it is not surprising that she likes this style so much.
The ring is a pair of double square-cut diamonds, perhaps up to six carats each, set diagonally across a band of yellow gold—the Queen has worn it constantly for more than half a century. She first wore it at her engagement in 1966. Since then, almost every photo of her shows this shining miracle.
The engagement ring of Grace Kelly
The first ring
In 1955, Prince Rainier III of Monaco proposed to Kelly. However, he didn’t give her the ring which later sparkled in all of the forthcoming photos. The ring he gave her was quite modest and made from alternating rubies and small diamonds. The combination of red and white symbolized the Monegasque flag, and the stones were taken from the family collection.
The second ring
In 1956, Grace was finishing work on her last film, after which she planned to leave the movie industry and go be with her husband. According to the movie script, Kelly’s character wore an engagement ring, but not a small one. The costume designers had to choose a piece of fake jewelry for the actress. Prince Rainier III decided that this wasn’t right and gave his wife a new Cartier ring with a large 10-carat diamond. This was the ring everyone remembered.
Princess Charlene of Monaco’s engagement ring
The former Olympic swimming champion, who became the Princess of Monaco in 2011, received a £55,000 engagement ring from Grace Kelly’s son Prince Albert. This stunning piece of jewelry is set with an imposing pear-cut diamond and smaller diamonds arranged in two triangles on either side of the central stone.
The ring attracts the attention of the public not only for its beauty, but also for the fact that Princess Charlene rarely wears it. It is believed that the reason for this is the impressive cost of the jewelry, but many people judge the relationship within the royal couple by the absence or presence of the ring.
What would the ring of your dreams look like? Tell us in the comments below.