Engagement rings are full of meaning for the British royal family, but not too many people know about the subtext of the all-important center stone. Each royal woman has her own taste, and that’s definitely reflected in their engagement rings. From Kate Middleton to Queen Elizabeth, and from Princess Anne to Meghan Markle, here’s what each engagement ring means.
Sapphire – Kate Middleton, Princess Anne, Princess Eugenie
Though many people think sapphires are only blue, the precious stone actually comes in a variety of colors. Kate Middleton’s sapphire engagement ring, which once belonged to Princess Diana, is the classic blue gem we’ve all come to expect, but her royal in-laws have strayed from the mold in recent years.
Princess Eugenie’s husband, Jack Brooksbank, went a little outside the norm when he proposed with a rare orange-pink sapphire, but regardless of the coloring, the meaning remains the same. Sapphires represent faith and hope, as well as protection and good fortune. This is said to mean those who wear sapphire engagement rings will have a deeply spiritual connection that will help protect them and keep the marriage safe.
Princess Anne, Queen Elizabeth’s only daughter, also received a sapphire engagement ring. Her second husband, Sir Timothy Laurence, proposed with an oval cut sapphire in a cabochon setting.
Emerald – Wallis Simpson
One of the most infamous figures in the history of the royal family was the only royal woman to receive an emerald engagement ring. Wallis Simpson married King Edward VIII after he proposed in 1937. The union was quite the scandal at the time because Simpson, in addition to being an American socialite, was also a divorcee.
In order to wed Simpson, Edward abdicated the throne. The two went on to enjoy a long marriage that only ended in 1972 upon Edward’s death. The longevity of their marriage is no surprise since emerald engagement rings symbolize renewal and growth, as well as fidelity.
Ruby – Sarah Ferguson
Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth’s second-oldest son, proposed to Sarah Ferguson with a flower-shaped ruby ring surrounded by diamonds. The two went on to marry in 1986 and welcomed their two daughters, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. Ruby engagement rings symbolize passion, and marriages bonded through these rings are said to be full of love and excitement.
Unfortunately, that didn’t quite hold true for Ferguson and Andrew. The two split in 1992 and divorced in 1996, but they still remain close to this day. They even share the same home, the Royal Lodge in Windsor.
Diamond – Meghan Markle, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Beatrice
Aquamarine – Meghan Markle’s Second Ring
After their 2018 wedding, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made their getaway after a quick costume change. Markle shed her wedding dress and swapped it for a Stella McCartney halter-neck gown. She also rocked a familiar aquamarine ring on her right hand, a ring that was once worn by Harry’s mother. The pale blue color supposedly symbolizes courage and communication, which are wonderful values to take into a marriage.