Royal Platinum Wedding: the Queen's engagement ring

On a platinum anniversary, you need a platinum ring. With just hours to go until the 70th wedding anniversary of the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, it's time to look back to the piece of jewellery being worn by the bride on the eve of her wedding. Her engagement ring was filled with sentiment, history and sparkle and has proved a royal classic in its own right. As the anniversary approaches, here's a look back at the Queen's engagement ring....

The then Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten announced their engagement on July 10th 1947 although it's understood they had been betrothed privately for some time ahead of that. The ring summed up their relationship in many ways. For while it was made to suit the very royal role that had become Elizabeth's, Philip's energy and imagination played a large part in its creation.  The result is a single three carat diamond with two settings of smaller diamonds on the shoulders of the ring. And the stones had a very special link to the groom.

Philip might have been marrying into the House of Windsor but the engagement ring he gave to his queen in waiting had plenty of his own royal family history about it. The diamonds in this ring came from a tiara belonging to Philip's mother, Princess Alice - she herself had received the diadem as a wedding present almost forty five years earlier.

This is a very 1940s ring, made by the jewellery firm Philip Antrobus, which had enough sparkle to sit on the finger of a future monarch without being completely over the top. Elizabeth and Philip got engaged just two years after the end of World War Two and the bride had to use clothing rations to get the material for her dress (the government stepped in with an extra 200 to help out). Anything too over the top in the sparkle stakes wouldn't have been a popular move.

But the ring, like the royals in this relationship, got it just right. The sparkler was shown off in a very jolly and relaxed press conference while the Queen still wears this special piece of jewellery every day. Seventy years on, it's a piece of history all on its own. A platinum ring that deserves plenty of attention on this platinum anniversary.


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