Since the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, sapphire sales have rocketed, due to Kate Middleton receiving Princess Diana’s classic sapphire and diamond engagement ring.
Prince William gave Kate Middleton diamonds that belonged to his mother, however is it possible he took this tradition from his grandfather?
Whilst Diana’s ring has a rich history, Queen Elizabeth II’s engagement ring from Prince Philip also has a special story, as the diamonds used to create the ring came from a tiara belonging to his mother –Princess Alice of Battenberg.
How did the Queen and Prince Philip meet?
The Queen met Prince Philip when they both attended the wedding of Philip’s cousin, Princess Marina of Greece, who was set to marry The Duke of Kent. This was in 1934, when the Queen was a teenager and Prince Philip was an 18-year-old Royal Navy officer.
They met again at Dartmouth Royal Navy College in 1939, and Prince Philip tried to impress the soon to be Queen on the tennis court. Soon after, the couple started writing to one another and Prince Philip declared his love. Their engagement was announced on July 9, 1947, after Philip asked King George VI for permission to marry his daughter.
The wedding took place four months after the engagement on 20th November at Westminster Abbey and was viewed by 200 million people worldwide.
As rationing was still in effect at the time, the Queen’s wedding dress was simple, with a fitted bodice and heart-shaped neckline which was paid for by clothing coupons. To show their support, hundreds of people across the UK sent the Princess their own coupons to help, however they had to be returned as it would have been illegal for her to use them.
What do we know about the Queen’s engagement ring?
Prince Philip designed the square-cut diamond engagement ring with jewellers Philip Antrobus Ltd.
The ring is a platinum ring set with eleven diamonds, a 3 carat round solitaire and five smaller stones set on each shoulder.
Using diamonds from his mother’s tiara may have been a way to save money, as well being as a sentimental gesture, as whilst Prince Philip was born a Greek prince, it seems his family were not extremely wealthy.
The estimated value of the Queen’s engagement ring
After taking a close look at the Queen’s engagement ring, our diamond experts estimate is likely to be worth around £207,000 on today’s market.
In comparison, Meghan Markle’s ring is estimated to be worth around £96,729, whilst Kate Middleton’s is now worth around £300,000 thanks to its timeless legacy.
The Queen’s ring is made from a nugget of Welsh gold from the Clogau St David’s mine, near Dolgellau.
The same nugget has been used to make Princess Anne, Princess Diana and Kate Middleton’s rings.