weddings

Royal engagement rings: The stories behind 14 of your favourite royal engagement rings.

When you’re a royal, any ole diamond engagement ring won’t cut it.

No. Royal engagement rings are some of the most opulent and unique pieces of jewellery you’ll ever see.

Think huge blue sapphires, giant emeralds set in a bed of diamonds, Burmese rubies and diamonds with unimaginable price tags.

But aside from being lovely to look at, royal engagement rings also have their own fascinating backstories.

From Kate Middleton’s iconic ring passed down from Princess Diana and Meghan Markle’s sustainably sourced diamonds, to Camilla Parker Bowles’ gigantic royal heirloom engagement ring, here are the stories behind the sparkliest royal engagement rings.

Kate Middleton engagement ring.

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Kate Middleton's iconic engagement ring. Image: Getty.
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Well HELLO SPARKLES. Image: Getty.
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Kate Middleton's engagement ring first belonged to her late mother-in-law Princess Diana, and was given to her by Prince William when he proposed in 2010.

The Duchess of Cambridge's iconic engagement ring is an oval Garrard 12-carat Ceylon sapphire, set in white gold and surrounded by a cluster of 14 solitaire diamonds.

When The Duke of Cambridge proposed to Kate, he told reporters he used his late mother's ring as a "way of keeping her close to it all".

Princess Diana engagement ring.

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Kate Middleton's engagement ring originally worn by Princess Diana. Image: Getty.

Despite being one of the most copied royal engagement rings to date, the royal family weren't all that thrilled with Princess Diana's striking sapphire engagement ring.

According to the Daily Mail, when Prince Charles proposed, he reportedly presented Diana with a selection of engagement rings to choose from, and she chose a ‘stock item’.

In fact, the ring was actually featured in the crown jeweller Garrard’s jewellery catalogue at the time, meaning any “commoner” with a spare $60,000 lying around could purchase their very own exact replica.

Despite not being “exclusive” or popular with the royal family, Princess Diana loved her ring and continued to wear it even after splitting from Prince Charles.

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Meghan Markle engagement ring.

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Meghan Markle wearing her engagement ring designed by Prince Harry. Image: Getty.
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It's sustainably sourced, darling. Image: Getty.

Meghan Markle's engagement ring was designed by The Duke of Sussex Prince Harry with jewellers Cleave and Company.

According to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's official engagement interview, the three-stone ring features a sustainably sourced three-carat cushion cut diamond set on a yellow gold band, flanked by two smaller diamonds from a brooch that belonged to his late mother Princess Diana.

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"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 of his decision to include them.

Queen Elizabeth II engagement ring.

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Ah, young love. Image: Getty.
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After over 70 years of marriage, Queen Elizabeth II still wears her engagement ring. Image: Getty.

After over 70 years of marriage, Queen Elizabeth II's engagement ring is one of the only pieces of jewellery you'll always see the monarch wearing.

The Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip gave The Queen the platinum three-carat diamond ring in 1947, which she wears paired with her Welsh gold wedding band.

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Queen Elizabeth's engagement ring has a sentimental story behind it - Prince Philip had it made from diamonds from his mother Princess Alice of Battenberg's diamond-and-aquamarine encrusted tiara.

Camilla Parker Bowles engagement ring.

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Camilla and her bling. Image: Getty.
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Up close, it's even more ginormous. Image: Getty.
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Here's the same ring worn by The Queen Mother. Image: Getty.
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When Prince Charles proposed to Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005, he did so with a royal heirloom.

The Duchess of Cornwall's art deco platinum engagement ring is made up of a large emerald-cut diamond flanked by three baguette diamonds on either side, and originally belonged to Prince Charles' grandmother, the Queen Mother.

Princess Eugenie engagement ring.

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The official portrait from Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank's engagement photoshoot. Image: Getty.
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Princess Eugenie's engagement ring is STUNNING. Image: Getty.
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If Princess Eugenie's engagement ring looks familiar, that's because it was modelled off another famous royal engagement ring.

The Princess of York was given an engagement ring from her now-husband Jack Brooksbank that was designed to look like her mother Sarah Ferguson's engagement ring.

Princess Eugenie's ring features a light blush pink padparadscha sapphire surrounded by diamonds set on a yellow gold band in a flower shape.

Sarah Ferguson engagement ring.

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At the time, Fergie's flower engagement ring was completely unique. Image: Getty.
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So pretty! Image: Getty.
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When Prince Andrew proposed to Sarah Ferguson in 1986, he gave her one of the most extravagant royal engagement rings we've seen.

The Duchess of York's flower-shaped ring included a Burmese ruby on a yellow gold band, surrounded by 10 diamonds.

In their engagement interview, Prince Andrew said: "We came to the mutual conclusion that red was probably the best colour for Sarah. That's how we came to the choice of the ruby. The extra bits around the outside, we wanted something that was slightly unconventional."

Wallis Simpson engagement ring.

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Wallis Simpson was basically the Meghan Markle of her time. Image: Getty.
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When then-King Edward VIII proposed to American divorcee Wallis Simpson in 1936, it was an unprecedented move for a ruling monarch.

Wallis' ring was equally unique, a 19-carat Cartier emerald yellow gold ring inscribed with the message, “We are ours now 27 X 36" - supposedly shorthand for the day Kind Edward proposed, October 27, 1936.

As anyone who's watched The Crown would know, Edward abdicated the throne months later and became the Duke of Windsor to marry Wallis in France the following year.

Grace Kelly engagement ring.

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Yep. That's a big ole rock. Image: Getty.
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Grace Kelly's engagement ring was so classic.
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Hollywood actress Grace Kelly became real-life royalty when she married Rainier III, Prince of Monaco in 1956.

Grace Kelly's engagement ring was a platinum Cartier 10.47 carat emerald-cut diamond with two baguette diamonds on each side.

Princess Margaret engagement ring.

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Princess Margaret's ring was the first of the royal flower-shaped engagement rings. Image: Getty.
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So beautiful. Image: Getty.
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Princess Margaret's engagement ring was designed by her then-fiance Antony Armstrong-Jones.

The design featured a large ruby surrounded by diamonds to look like a rosebud, in reference to Margaret's middle name, Rose.

Princess Mary engagement ring.

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Tassie's very own Princess Mary. Image: Getty.
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Princess Mary's ring is meant to represent the Danish flag. Image: Getty.

Tasmanian-born Princess Mary met Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games.

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Three years later, Prince Frederik proposed to Princess Mary with an emerald-cut diamond engagement ring flanked by two ruby baguettes diamonds, designed to represent the Danish flag.

Zara Philips engagement ring.

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Zara Tindall's engagement ring is one heck of a sparkler. Image: Getty.
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Here it is up close. Image: Getty.

Equestrian Zara Tindall (nee Phillips) was given a custom-designed solitaire diamond and platinum ring with a divided diamond band from her now-husband, former rugby player Mike Tindall.

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Sophie Rhys-Jones engagement ring.

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Aren't The Earl and Countess of Wessex the picture of young love? Image: Getty.
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Sophie's engagement ring is stunning. Image: Getty.

When Prince Edward proposed to Sophie Ryhs-Jones, now The Countess of Wessex, he did so with a classic ring designed by royal jeweller Garrard.

The two-carat oval diamond engagement ring was flanked by two heart-shaped gemstones set in 18-carat white gold.

Pippa Middleton engagement ring.

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Pippa's not technically a royal... Image: Getty.
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... But how could we not include her incredible engagement ring? Image: Getty.

Pippa Middleton isn't technically a royal, but we've decided to add her on the end here as a royal by association.

The sister of Kate Middleton was given one heck of an engagement ring by her now-husband James Matthews.

Diamond expert David Allen estimated the ring to feature a four-carat asscher cut diamond surrounded by an octagonal ring of smaller diamonds.

Which is your favourite royal engagement ring? Tell us in the comments!

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