The royal family is known for its lavish lifestyle, unattainable for mere mortals. Not surprisingly, when engagements occur, the rings are breathtaking. Diamonds from Queen Elizabeth’s engagement ring, given to her by Prince Philip, were taken from a tiara that belonged to his mother, Princess Alice of Greece. Meanwhile, Prince Charles proposed to Camilla Parker Bowles with an Art Deco ring from his grandmother’s collection. Which engagement ring was the most expensive and which was the most controversial?
Prince William popped the engagement question to Kate Middleton with the help of a former engagement ring belonging to his late mother Princess Diana. The 12-carat oval sapphire surrounded by diamonds technically belonged to Prince Harry, but he wanted his future sister-in-law to inherit it.
“The only thing he kept from his mother, he gave to his brother,” said Princess Diana’s former butler, Paul Burrell. “It’s selfless and kind. That’s exactly how Diana was,” he added.
When it came time to find an engagement ring for Meghan Markle, Prince Harry was involved in another project. His wife’s ring features a three-carat cushion-cut diamond from Botswana. The stones featured on the ring also belonged to Princess Diana.
Gemmologist Grant Mobley said that while the centre stone ranks between $95,000 and $155,000, the side stones were valued at around $5,000 each. However, they are likely to be worth much more as they come from Diana’s personal collection. “Anything that belongs to Diana will always be worth more than the actual valuation,” he explains.
While every royal engagement ring is gorgeous, one is valued higher than the others. This is the ring that Prince William gifted to Kate Middleton. A 12-carat oval sapphire from Ceylon surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds, it originally belonged to the late Princess Diana.
“Kate Middleton’s ring has the highest estimated value because of the huge 12-carat Ceylon sapphire. Not to mention the legacy of the ring that once belonged to Princess Diana,” said Maxwell Stone, creative director of Steven Stone Jewellers! In its publication Crisscut, Steven Stone Jewellers added: “The sapphire is a deep royal blue of AAAA quality, making it one of the most precious of its kind.” The ring has been valued at around $500,000. Obviously, the sentimental value of the ring makes it priceless.
Stone added that all royal engagement rings are a hit with brides-to-be around the world. “Kate Middleton’s ring sparked the trend for sapphire engagement rings. We’ve had requests for replicas of all the royal rings over the years, which just shows how much influence royal ladies have on our style,” he said.