Monday, 10 July 2017

Royal Engagement Rings: the Queen

It's a platinum ring that has its own platinum anniversary today. The engagement ring given to the Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) by Prince Philip was first seen by the world seventy years ago today. The official engagement appearance of Elizabeth and Philip took place on July 10th 1947, a milestone in a royal romance that has been the bedrock of the modern House of Windsor. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the official betrothal appearance, here's a look  at the royal engagement ring belonging to the Queen.

The ring is very sparkly and rather sentimental. It combines modernity with heirlooms and it still looks as elegant today as it did seven decades ago when it was first shown to the public. Philip himself was heavily involved with the design of the ring which is made up of 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 its platinum anniversary.

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