The jewels of the world’s royals are a marvel you can’t help but admire. They’re often over the top – and definitely covered in diamonds.
The appearance of a royal engagement ring never fails to attract interest, but an impressive design and a moving story can transform a royal engagement ring into one of the most iconic pieces of jewellery in history.
Kate, the Princess of Wales’ sapphire engagement takes the crown for being one of the most recognisable in the world.
From sentimental designs to glitzy gemstones of the rarest quality, can YOU guess who these engagement rings belong to?
1. Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
Heir to the Danish throne Crown Prince Frederik proposed to his Australian wife Princess Mary in 2003
The colourful ring has an emerald cut diamond flanked by two ruby baguettes in honour of the Danish flag
Heir to the Danish throne Crown Prince Frederik proposed to his Australian wife Princess Mary with a colourful ring in 2003.
Mary’s elegant ring has an emerald cut diamond flanked by two ruby baguettes in honour of the Danish flag.
The princess met Frederik in a pub in Sydney while he was visiting for the 2000 Olympic Games.
They married in 2004 and Princess Mary became fluent in Danish for her new royal role.
2. Zara Tindall
Zara Tindall became engaged to Mike in 2010 and they were married in Edinburgh the following year
The ring has a delicate double banded platinum ring featuring a solitaire diamond at the centre
Zara Tindall got engaged to rugby legend Mike in 2010 and they were married in Edinburgh the following year.
Mike proposed to the Queen’s granddaughter with a delicate double banded platinum ring featuring a solitaire diamond at the centre.
The Olympic equestrian and former England rugby player first met while in Australia for the 2003 Rugby World Cup.
Mike candidly discussed their first date on I’m A Celeb, saying: ‘First actual date, just went out for lunch locally. And ended up being quite a boozy one. Then we figured out that we both quite like getting smashed. It was a good start.
He recalled: ‘I was at the World Cup, she was out watching. I got dropped from the semi-final.
‘I was p****d off and so I went for a beer with another guy who got dropped and a guy who was over [in Sydney]. They’d met her before and they introduced us and then got chatting.’
3. Princess Charlene of Monaco
Olympic athlete Charlene Lynette Wittstock became engaged to Prince Albert of Monaco in 2010
Her ring features a three carat pear-shaped diamond surrounded by round diamond brilliants
The ring, described as ‘big, bright and beautiful’ by expert Sonia, features a three carat pear-shaped diamond surrounded by round diamond brilliants and is valued at around £50,000.
The glamorous couple were an unlikely pairing as Zimbabwe-born Charlene Lynette Wittstock was set for a career in swimming.
The Olympic athlete met the prince at the Mare Nostrum swimming meet in 2000 and were married in 2011 after a civil wedding and a religious ceremony.
The princess wore an off-the-shoulder Armani gown for the religious service that was covered in 40,000 Swarovski crystals, 20,000 mother of pearl tear drops and 30,000 ‘stones in gold shades’.
4. Queen Consort Camilla
Camilla became engaged to Charles in February 2005 after they had been living together in Clarence House
The unique 30s art deco engagement ring formerly belonged to King Charles’ grandmother, the Queen Mother
King Charles announced his engagement to Camilla in February 2005 after they had been living together in Clarence House and the couple were married in April, three months later.
Camilla’s unique engagement ring is her most treasured item and had previously belonged to Charles’ grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
It features a central five carat emerald cut diamond with diamond baguettes on each side.
The 30s art deco ring was valued at £100,000 at the time of their engagement, today rising to the astonishing region of £200,000.
5. Princess Eugenie of York
Princess Eugenie’s unique ring was given to her by husband Jack Brooksbank when he proposed in 2018
The modestly-priced ring features a pink Padparadscha sapphire surrounded by a halo of diamonds on a yellow gold band
Princess Eugenie‘s unique ring with a coloured gemstone at the centre was given to her by husband Jack Brooksbank when he proposed in 2018.
The modestly-priced ring, valued anywhere between £7,000-75,000, features a pink Padparadscha sapphire surrounded by a halo of diamonds on a yellow gold band.
The executive and former barman said he chose the ring because ‘it changes colour when it hits certain lights, much like Eugenie.’
6. Queen Letizia of Spain
Former journalist Queen Letizia of Spain became engaged to King Felipe VI in 2003 after a secret romance
The ring is a classic design featuring 16 baguette diamonds on a band with a white gold trim
Former journalist Letizia became engaged to King Felipe VI in 2003 after a secret romance.
Felipe chose a classic design featuring 16 baguette diamonds on a band with a white gold trim.
The ring, designed by Suarez, reportedly cost around £2,139 and the royal also gave his bride-to-be a necklace from the family collection to celebrate the engagement.
Expert Sonia Menezes, Head of Brand Development for Clogau, said the white gold eternity ring was a ‘departure from most traditional styles’.
‘Unlike most Royals, the Spanish Royal family are known for their austere ways and a ring like Letizia’s would be valued at around £3,000,’ she added.
7. Princess Sofia of Sweden
Prince Carl Philip of Sweden proposed to ex-glamour model girlfriend Princess Sofia in 2014
The ring features a small central stone surrounded by a diamond halo set on a split band set with additional diamonds
Prince Carl Philip of Sweden designed the engagement ring himself when he proposed to ex-glamour model girlfriend Princess Sofia in 2014.
The prince proposed in a secret place with a ring featuring a small central stone surrounded by a diamond halo set on a split band with additional diamonds.
The stone at the centre of the ring is no more than a carat and the ring was given an estimated value of £10,073 by fine jewellery retailer, Victor Halvarsson who spoke to Swedish press at the time.
8. Kate, the Princess of Wales
Heir to the throne Prince William proposed to Kate, the Princess of Wales, in Kenya in 2010
The famous ring features an oval 12-carat Ceylon sapphire surrounded by a cluster of 14 solitaire diamonds set in white gold
The ring originally belonged to William’s late mother Princess Diana and cost £28,500 in 1981
Kate‘s iconic ring was a sentimental choice from Prince William, who gave his future wife his late mother’s engagement ring.
While the ring, one of the most famous in the world, is now priceless it originally cost £28,500 in 1981.
Featuring an oval 12-carat Ceylon sapphire surrounded by a cluster of 14 solitaire diamonds set in white gold, Princess Diana chose the ring when she was presented with a selection of options by the then Crown jewellers, Garrard of Mayfair upon her engagement to Prince Charles.
William proposed to Kate in Kenya in 2010 and described the ring saying, ‘It’s my mother’s engagement ring, and it’s very special to me, as Kate is very special to me now as well. It was only right the two were put together.
‘It was my way of making sure mother didn’t miss out on today and the excitement and the fact that we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together.’
9. Queen Maxima of the Netherlands
King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands proposed to his wife Queen Maxima in 2001 and they were married the following year
The ring features a central orange diamond with emerald-cut diamonds on either side, all of which is surrounded by two rows of diamonds
King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands proposed to Queen Maxima in 2001 and they were married the following year.
The royal presented Maxima with a stunning ring featuring a central orange diamond with emerald-cut diamonds on either side, all of which is surrounded by another two rows of diamonds.
The orange oval-cut diamond is particularly significant as it represents the House of Orange-Nassau – the current reigning house of the Netherlands.
The engagement raised eyebrows as Maxima was the daughter of Jorge Zorreguieta, who served as Secretary of Agriculture under General Jorge Rafael Videla, during Argentina’s military dictatorship.
10. Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex
Becoming engaged to Prince Harry in 2017, Meghan Markle was presented with a £140,000 ring designed by the prince himself
It featured a gold band with three diamonds, a large square cut jewel in the centre set off by two diamonds at the side, although Meghan redesigned the band in 2019
Becoming engaged to Prince Harry in 2017, Meghan Markle was presented with a £140,000 ring designed by the prince himself.
The show-stopping ring featured a gold band with three diamonds, a large square cut jewel in the center set off by two diamonds at the side.
One of the diamonds was originally from Botswana, where the couple travelled together in 2016, and two smaller stones from Princess Diana’s collection.
At the time, he said: ‘The ring is obviously yellow gold because that’s [Meghan’s] favourite.
‘The main stone itself I sourced from Botswana and the little diamonds either side are from my mother’s jewellery collection, to make sure that she’s with us on this crazy journey together.’
Meghan replaced the band of the ring in 2019 to a thinner, diamond band which, according to expert Arabel Lebrusan who said at the time it had been redesigned to make the main diamond ‘look bigger’.
11. Sophie, Countess of Wessex
PR executive Sophie Rhys-Jones became engaged to Prince Edward in 1999 with a ring from jeweler Garrard
It features features a two carat oval diamond flanked by two smaller heart-shaped gems impressively set in 18 carat white gold
Prince Edward proposed to PR executive Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999 with a ring from jeweler Garrard – a favourite with the British royals, also designing Princess Diana’s famous sapphire ring.
Sophie’s ring, reportedly worth around £105,000, features a two carat oval diamond flanked by two smaller heart-shaped gems impressively set in 18 carat white gold.
Expert Sonia said: ‘In keeping with the tradition, Sophie’s wedding ring was also made from Welsh gold.
‘The gold came, appropriately, from The Prince Edward mine in Trawnsfynydd in Gwynedd, North Wales.’
12. Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York
Prince Andrew proposed to Sarah Ferguson on his 26th birthday in 1986 before they separated in 1992 and divorced four years later
The Garrard ring featured a Burmese ruby surrounded by 10 drop diamonds on a yellow gold band
Prince Andrew proposed to Sarah Ferguson on his 26th birthday in 1986 before they separated in 1992 and divorced four years later.
The dazzling ring, also by Garrard, featured a Burmese ruby surrounded by 10 drop diamonds on a yellow gold band.
Andrew described the ring as ‘unconventional’, adding: ‘We came to the mutual conclusion that red was probably the best colour for Sarah.’
13. Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
The heir to the Swedish throne, Crown Princess Victoria, became engaged to Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland in 2009
Daniel, the princess’ former fitness trainer, presented his wife with a ring featuring a solitaire diamond on a white gold band
The heir to the Swedish throne, Crown Princess Victoria, became engaged to husband Prince Daniel, Duke of Västergötland in 2009.
Daniel’s elegant choice of ring features a solitaire diamond on a white gold band, which he presented to her in the grounds of Drottningholm Palace.
The pair became engaged after a seven-year romance, with Daniel being Victoria’s former fitness trainer.
Victoria became the heir apparent in 1980 by a constitutional reform that meant that the throne would be inherited by the monarch’s eldest child without regard to gender.
14. Pippa Middleton
Millionaire James Matthews proposed to Kate Middleton’s sister on top of a mountain in the Lake District in 2016
The glamorous ring features a large three carat Asscher cut diamond, a rare cut for high quality stones, surrounded by an octagonal cluster of diamonds
Millionaire James Matthews proposed to Kate Middleton’s sister Pippa on top of a mountain in the Lake District in 2016.
The glamorous ring features a large three carat Asscher cut diamond, a rare cut for high quality stones, surrounded by an octagonal cluster of diamonds.
David Allen, Creative Director of 77 Diamonds, said: ‘Given the nature of these step cut stones, the quality is paramount so the stone requires the highest of clarity gradings.
‘A flawless asscher diamond set in an octagonal halo ring such as this would fetch upwards of £200,000.’
James asked for Carole and Mike Middleton’s permission before proposing to Pippa, with one friend saying: ‘James is a traditionalist and very much wanted to do things properly. That meant getting his future father in law’s consent.’
The pair have similar family origins, both being the grandchild of a coalminer in the North of England.
Their parents also have humble backgrounds: Carole Middleton is a former air hostess who grew up in a council flat, while James’s father David, who made millions in the motor trade began his working life as a trainee mechanic in Rotherham
15. Queen Elizabeth
The Queen – a then Princess Elizabeth – and Prince Philip became engaged in 1947
The Queen’s engagement ring, pictured in 1998, featured a round three-carat brilliant stone flanked by smaller pavé-set diamonds
The Queen’s engagement ring, pictured in 1998, featured a round three-carat brilliant stone flanked by smaller pavé-set diamonds.
Prince Philip commissioned it from a London jewelry firm, Philip Antrobus, in 1947. The diamonds came from his grandmother Princess Alice’s tiara.
The understated ring, is said to be worth just a modest £100,000 by today’s estimates.
16. Queen Margrethe II of Denmark
Featuring a duo of cushion-cut diamonds set against a gold band, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark’s distinctive ring has been valued at anywhere up to £1.2million in today’s money.
Rumoured to be as much as six carats each, the show-stopping sparklers came from exclusive jeweller Van Cleef and Arpels.
Sparkler: Queen Margrethe shows off her ring as she watches Danish rider Andreas Helgstrand in the 2004 Athens Olympic dressage competition
17. Princess Beatrice
Princess Beatrice’s bespoke engagement ring may have been inspired by the Queen’s own design, an expert has claimed.
Beatrice announced her engagement to property tycoon Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in 2019, showing off a 3.5 carat diamond ring by Shaun Leane, estimated to have cost £100,000.
Princess Beatrice and Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi when they announced their engagement
Edoardo presented Princess Beatrice with a 3.5 carat diamond ring by Shaun Leane, estimated to have cost £100,000. The round-cut diamond is flanked by four baguette-cut diamonds on a platinum band
The round-cut diamond is flanked by four baguette-cut diamonds on a platinum band designed by British jeweller Shaun Leane, and bears a striking resemblance to that of the Queen.
The monarch’s ring also features a three carat round-cut diamond and 10 smaller ones set in platinum – taken from a tiara belonging to Prince Philip’s mother, Princess Princess Alice of Battenberg, and crafted by jewellers Philip Antrobus Ltd in 1947.
Both rings feature round cut diamonds of a similar carat weight and are flanked by smaller diamonds sitting on a similarly shaped bands.
Speaking to Femail, Jason D’Heureux, creative director of bespoke jewellers Taylor & Hart previously said: ‘Like her grandmother, her aunt and cousin-in-law, Princess Beatrice has gone with an all-diamond engagement ring.
‘The centre diamond is also round and and likely possesses very high colour and clarity.’