If you've already watched Season 4 of The Crown, you likely ogled at the trove of sparkling rings that Princess Diana was presented with after Prince Charles proposed to her. The engagement ring is one of the most glamorous obligations in any royal family, and each royal lady's choice is a stunning reflection of themselves and their sacred bond. Though certain memorable styles may stick out, the most iconic royal engagement rings over the years vary from classic, colorless diamonds, to rare rubies and sapphires — some antique and some new.
Across centuries of rings, certain stones appear time and again — chief among them all being sapphire. Memorably worn by Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (Queen Elizabeth), whose engagement ring featured a Kashmir sapphire stone, it's has stuck around for generations, chosen by Princess Anne and Princess Diana in different settings. Of course, the trend is kept alive today by none other than Kate Middleton, after Prince William proposed to her with his mother, Lady Di's ring in 2010. That said, plenty went with the colorless, classic diamond ring — Grace Kelly included, whose iconic Cartier sparkler has been imitated dozens of times over the years.
To browse the most iconic royal rings over the years, continue below.
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Best Royal Engagement Rings: Princess Beatrice
In 2020, Princess Beatrice became the latest to tie the knot — and she did so with an engagement ring that was shockingly trend-forward for a royal. Her round-brilliant diamond is flanked by two diamond baguettes (which are having a moment — chiefly, as accent stones to the bride's larger gem of choice).
Best Royal Engagement Rings: Queen Elizabeth II
When Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip first wed, the Duke of Edinburgh chose a style that could certainly have inspired Beatrice's. Her sparkler features a three-carat brilliant stone, adorned by smaller pavé diamonds.
Best Royal Engagement Rings: Princess Grace
The Rear Window actor's love story is just about as famous as the ring that commemorated it. When Rainier III, Prince of Monaco, proposed to Grace Kelly, he did it with a sizable 10-carat diamond ring from Cartier — and it's been added to bride-to-be's mood boards ever since.
Best Royal Engagement Rings: Princess Diana & Kate Middleton's
Princess Diana was rumored to have chosen her dazzler — an oval Ceylon sapphire stone surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds — for its likeness to her mother's engagement ring. It seems that Prince William was keen on continuing that generational trend, proposing to the Duchess of Cambridge with his mother's exact engagement ring.
Best Royal Engagement Rings: Meghan Markle
Unlike Diana and Kate Middleton's, Meghan Markle's engagement ring is angular and colorless — though it does come with a nod to Lady Di. With an ethically-sourced diamond from Botswana and two round diamonds from Princess Diana's jewelry box, the yellow gold-banded sparkler celebrates its family roots and commemorates the couples' commitment to social justice all at once.
Best Royal Engagement Rings: Princess Sofia Of Sweden
In 2014, Prince Carl Philip proposed to the model-turned-royal, giving her a split shank engagement ring with a round diamond haloed by smaller diamonds.
Best Royal Engagement Rings: Princess Eugenie
The recent announcement of Princess Eugenie's first child came with a welcomed glance at her famous ring. In a halo of diamonds, many are quick to point out that her Padparadscha sapphire ring bears close resemblance to her mother's. Sarah Fergusons featured a like-toned Burmese ruby, with drop-shaped diamonds surrounding it.
Best Royal Engagement Rings: Princess Anne
Keeping with the sapphire theme, Princess Anne's ring flanked a classic sapphire stone between two same-sized diamonds, creating a striking, banded look.
Best Royal Engagement Rings: Queen Letizia
Ever the trend-setter, Queen Letizia of Spain went with a silhouette that totally subverted royal tradition. Her engagement ring is a sparkling baguette band, with 16 diamonds set into white gold or platinum.