Sophie Wessex engagement ring: The special link to Princess Diana and Kate Middleton

Royal engagement announcements prompt huge national interest, with royal fans always desperate to catch a glimpse of a new royal engagement ring. Many of the royal engagement rings of recent decades have featured centre stones of rubies and sapphires. But when the Queen’s youngest son Prince Edward proposed to Sophie Rhys-Jones in 1999, he opted for a more traditional diamond ring for his future bride.

Sophie and Edward had been dating for several years before Buckingham Palace announced the couple had got engaged.

A statement from the palace read: “The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are delighted to announce the engagement of their youngest son, Prince Edward, to Miss Sophie Rhys-Jones.

“The couple sought the permission of their respective parents between Christmas and the New Year. Both families are thrilled at the news.”

Sophie and Edward married in a fairytale wedding at St George’s Chapel, Windsor later in 1999, and subsequently were given the titles of Earl and Countess of Wessex by the Queen.

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But Diana was known to adore the sapphire and diamond sparkler, and it now belongs to her son William’s wife, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.

William proposed with the ring while the couple were on holiday in Kenya, and many royal fans were delighted that Diana was remembered on the couple’s special day.

Fiona Wellington, gem and jewellery buyer and co-director/co-designer at Myne London, told “[Diana’s] most well-known piece was undoubtedly her 12-carat oval Ceylon sapphire and diamond ring now wonderfully worn again by Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, which symbolised to them both Diana’s presence in their celebrations.”

Due to the incredible sentimental value, the Royal Family is unlikely to ever part with the stunning ring, but it holds great value.

Ms Wellington added: “Value-wise it’s jumped from a hefty £30,000 to more like £300,000 which makes it even more astounding and delightful that Prince William carried it around in his rucksack in Africa for three weeks before proposing to Kate!”

Comparisons can also be drawn between Sophie’s ring and the engagement ring belonging to Meghan Markle.

When Prince Harry announced his engagement in 2017, Meghan presented a stunning three-stone diamond ring to the world.

The central diamond was sourced from Botswana, a country that holds a special place in Meghan and Harry’s hearts.

For the couple’s third date in 2017, Harry is said to have taken Meghan away to a luxurious lodge in Botswana.

In a touching nod to his mother, Harry designed the ring to have the centre stone flanked by two smaller diamonds from the late Princess Diana’s jewellery collection.

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