On 14 November 1973, Princess Anne married her first husband, Mark Phillips, father to Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, making it 48 years since the huge Royal wedding took place.
Although Princess Anne married again in 1992, after falling in love with current husband, Timothy Laurence, jewellery experts at Steven Stone haven’t forgotten about those incredible engagement rings she received.
The royal family has always had exquisite taste in engagement rings, as seen by Queen Elizabeth’s dazzling ring and Princess Diana’s famous sapphire ring. However, while most brides-to-be receive a diamond for their proposal, Princess Anne received stunning sapphires instead.
Because of their rich colour and durability, sapphires are becoming an increasingly popular stone for engagement rings. But what is it about sapphires that have piqued the interest of the royal family brides?
Princess Anne received sapphire rings from both Mark Phillips and Timothy Laurence, and our leading engagement ring specialist, Max Stone, reveals everything you need to know about these incredible gemstones.
He said: “It’s interesting that Princess Anne received sapphire engagement rings rather than traditional diamond rings. Blue sapphires are often linked to people who are respectful, loyal, hardworking, and honest, which only makes these rings even more special, and suggests that this could have meant something to Princess Anne.
Princess Diana also famously had a blue sapphire ring, which is now in the hands of Kate Middleton, while the queen is frequently seen sporting the gemstone on her famous brooches.”
“It’s clear royal family are huge fans of sapphires, a stone which is traditionally believed to attract abundance and blessings. Historically it has been used to protect against negative energies, as well as calm the mind, strengthen intuition, and invite spiritual clarity, so it’s no wonder the royal ladies love them.”
Princess Anne’s first engagement ring
In 1973, Princess Anne and Mark Phillips became secretly engaged in the springtime, during a holiday over the Easter break. However, they didn’t announce their engagement until over a month later, when they stood for cameras outside Buckingham Palace for the first time on May 30, 1973.
Princess Anne, an avid equestrian, met the Olympic gold rider at a party in 1968, and the two became friends over their shared passion for horses.
Royal jeweller, Garrard, created Princess Anne’s engagement ring “to her specifications.”
The Princess Royal’s ring has a huge oval sapphire diamond in a cabochon setting in the centre, surrounded on either side by a pair of dazzling diamond side stones. It is traditionally set on a yellow gold band, using welsh gold, like most royal rings.
Our experts estimate it to have a value of around £10,000 ($13,645 USD).
The second engagement ring
Laurence, the commander in the Royal Navy, met Anne while he was serving on the Royal Yacht Britannia. The pair were married in late 1992, however rather than a lavish royal ceremony, the event had to take place in in Scotland since the Church of England did not allow remarriages after divorce.
The Princess Royal wore a simple, elegant white suit and added a small spray of flowers to her hair instead of a veil. The two lovers kept their relationship private and low-key and were rarely photographed or seen together.