The royal family has access to some of the world’s most historical and spectacular jewellery, and while the story of Princess Diana’s engagement ring, a vivid blue 12-carat sapphire surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds that now belong to the Duchess of Cambridge, is well known to most royal watchers. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall’s engagement ring also has an equally charming backstory.
Camilla has a plethora of jewels, but one item she’s rarely seen without is her engagement ring from Prince Charles – and it’s difficult to miss the enormous diamond sparkling on her wedding finger. The ring is one of the most extensive and most expensive engagement rings in the royal family.
When the Prince of Wales proposed to Camilla in 2005, he chose a ring with a special connection to the royal family. He picked a five-carat emerald-cut diamond surrounded by three diamond baguettes given to the Queen Mother in 1929. It was passed on from one generation to the Queen Mother, who was first seen wearing it in the 1980’s after receiving it from King George VI.
Steven Stone’s leading jewellery expert, Max Stone, estimates that Camilla’s ring is worth around £212,500 on today’s market, while Princess Diana’s is now worth around £390,000.
Max Stone said: “The style of Camilla’s ring is completely different to Princess Diana’s. Camilla’s three-stone diamond ring is traditional, while Diana’s sapphire ring is bold, and broke royal tradition at the time.”
Charles and Camilla declared their engagement on February 10, 2005. While little is known about the couple’s engagement, Camilla did reveal that the Prince of Wales dropped down on one knee to propose, as is customary.Prince Charles expressed his excitement at the time of the engagement in an official announcement: “Mrs. Parker Bowles and I are very pleased. It will be a memorable day for our family and us.”
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles married in a civil wedding at Windsor Guildhall on April 9, 2005. Following that, the couple traveled to St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle to receive the Archbishop of Canterbury’s official marriage blessing.