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Why does Princess Anne have two engagement rings that look almost identical?

On 14 November 1973, Princess Anne married her first husband, Mark Phillips – father to Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips – making it 50 years since the huge Royal wedding took place. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out and the couple divorced in 1992.

Anne married again on 12th December 1992, after falling in love with current husband, Timothy Laurence.

To celebrate the couple’s wedding anniversary, jewellery experts at Steven Stone have revealed everything you need to know about the incredible engagement rings that the Princess Royal 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.

“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, whilst Queen Elizabeth II was frequently seen sporting the gemstone on her famous brooches.

It’s clear to see that the 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.”

maxwell stone, creative director, steven stone

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 30th May 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.

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.

Princess Anne’s second engagement ring contains a 3ct oval-cut cabochon sapphire, framed by a cluster of three small diamonds on either side.

According to our experts, on today’s market, a ring like this would be worth around £25,000

If you’re looking for jewellery to rival royalty, our team can design bespoke creations, tailored to you. From engagement rings and wedding rings to necklaces and diamond earrings, your options are endless.

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