From Meghan Markle's famed trilogy ring, to Zara Tindall's sleek, contemporary setting, we explore some of our favourite regal rings
Meghan Markle’s engagement ring was one of the most hotly-anticipated, widely celebrated pieces of jewellery to emerge in 2017. The three stone diamond ring is a triumph in classic yet contemporary design, featuring a large, elongated cushion cut diamond, estimated to be between 3 and 4 carats, flanked by two round brilliant cuts. We’ve got Prince Harry to thank for what is potentially 2018’s coolest engagement ring - Harry took the helm, designing the bespoke engagement ring himself, the simplicity of the setting complementing Meghan’s paired-down, minimalist style perfectly. Little-known is the symbolic romance of trilogy engagement rings - the three stones represent the past, present and future of the wearer’s relationship. Who knew Prince Harry was such a romantic? The ring is estimated to cost somewhere between £200,000 and £270,000.
In January 2018 the world was finally graced with photos of Princess Eugenie’s engagement ring, taken at Buckingham Palace alongside partner of 8 years, Jack Brooksbank. A leap from the typical choice of diamond or blue sapphire, the couple chose a striking coral pink padparadscha sapphire to complement Princess Eugenie’s English Rose complexion. Despite the classic design, the couple’s approach to finding the perfect engagement ring was relatively modern - Jack proposed without a ring, with the idea that they would design it together. This super romantic gesture is becoming a more and more popular choice, with some proposing with a diamond or centre stone they have selected, then returning to create the ring design together.
Reading like a plot from a film, actress Grace Kelly’s journey to royalty was every bit as glamorous as you’d expect. A chance meeting during Cannes film festival in 1955 led to Monaco’s Prince Rainier III visiting Grace on a whistle-stop tour of America, on which he proposed after three days. Rainier chose a ruby and diamond eternity ring, soon later replaced by an iconic Cartier engagement ring. The exquisite emerald cut engagement ring weighed in at 10.47ct, plus a baguette cut diamond either side of the showstopping centre stone. Reports suggested the ring cost a cool $4.06million!
Ok, so not technically royalty, but figurative “American royalty” - how could we not mention Jackie Kennedy’s engagement ring? In true regal style, the vintage Art Deco engagement ring is over the top, ostentatious and oh-so-sparkly. A 2.88 carat emerald cut diamond sits alongside a similarly sized green emerald, and ten years after the proposal, round and marquise diamonds were added to form leaf-like appendages to wrap around the original stones. Following the assassination of husband John F. Kennedy, Jackie was remarried to Aristotle Onassis, receiving a jaw-dropping 40 carat marquise cut diamond engagement ring, worn only twice before being stored in a New York City vault.
This royal engagement ring is a little more down to earth, much like its wearer, Zara Tindall. We can probably all relate to Zara’s method of ensuring she bagged a ring she liked, explaining she had hinted what she might like in the run up to the proposal (who doesn’t look at engagement rings on Instagram in front of their partner, in the hopes they’ll catch a glimpse of what you like?!). Zara’s beautiful diamond engagement ring features a split shank and diamond set band, adding detail to an otherwise minimalist design.
The love affair of Wallis Simpson King Edward VIII was rebellious, yet deeply romantic, the unique engagement ring a design to suit. Wallis Simpson’s engagement ring featured an almost-20-carat emerald, a stone not always recommended for engagement rings due to its softness when compared to sapphires, rubies and diamonds. But this couple didn’t play by the rules. The platinum piece was engraved ‘we are now ours 27X36’, the numerical value representing both the date Edward proposed and the beginning of Wallis’s divorce proceedings from her prior marriage. To mark their 20th wedding anniversary, the emerald was remounted in a more decorative fashion, using a diamond halo and yellow gold metalwork.
If these regal beauties have got you thinking, why not get in touch to discuss your custom engagement ring? Each piece we create at Hearts of London is hand crafted by some of Hatton Garden's top jewellers, in our in-store workshops. Tap 'contact us' to meet with our gemmologists and design experts to discuss your bespoke engagement ring.