27 March 2015

The Duchess of Cornwall's Engagement and Wedding Rings

The Duchess of Cornwall's Engagement and Wedding Rings
The engagement of The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles was announced on February 10, 2005, after reportedly settling the details with The Queen over the Christmas holiday, and slightly earlier than planned since details had been leaked to the media. The happy couple appeared at a charity gala at Windsor Castle that night and met the press beforehand, the bride-to-be stating that she was "just coming down to earth" and reporting that Charles had gotten down on one knee to pop the question. ("Of course," she said. "What else?")
Video: The night the engagement was announced
Camilla proudly showed off her large engagement ring, a design (according to multiple reports at the time) of a central square-cut diamond flanked on either side by three diamond baguettes and set in platinum. It was confirmed to be a royal heirloom, and was later shown to have been in the collection of the late Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, Charles' grandmother.
Queen Elizabeth wears the ring
Exactly how the ring came to be in Queen Elizabeth's collection is a matter of speculation. Various reports have dated the piece from the 1920s or 1930s; some have said it was a gift from her husband to celebrate the birth of their first child (Princess Elizabeth, the current queen), while others have placed it as part of the Greville bequest (the jewels inherited by Queen Elizabeth from Mrs. Ronald Greville in 1942). Like the rest of The Queen Mother's jewels, it most likely was inherited by The Queen in 2002 and then given to Charles after that. The ring is now worn daily by Camilla alongside her gold wedding band. The rings exchanged by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall are made from Welsh gold, as is the royal family's tradition, and were created by Wartski jewelers (appropriately, a firm with roots in Wales).
This is one of the larger engagement rings in the main royal family, and it is often cited as one of the (if not the) most valuable ones, using purely speculative figures, of course. But despite the large stones, it doesn't feel overpowering; the simple Art Deco design makes for the perfect showcase for these diamonds (and makes it one of my personal favorite royal engagement rings).

Appearances: Since these are worn every day, individual appearances will not be catalogued here.

Photos: via Getty Images