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The six most unusual royal engagement rings ever – From flags to a serpent


The cut, colour and clarity of royal engagement rings have always fascinated the public, and news of a royal engagement is always met with a frenzy to see the bride-to-be’s new ring. Express.co.uk has chosen six of the most unique royal engagement rings that have belonged to members of the British Royal Family, as well as royals from further afield.

Queen Margrethe’s ‘toi et moi’ ring

Queen Margrethe of Denmark still wears the engagement ring she received from her late husband, Prince Henrik.

Margrethe’s engagement ring is known as a ‘toi et moi’ ring, and it has two enormous diamonds.

Alison Cooper, CEO of Alicia J Diamonds told Express.co.uk: “We couldn’t help but mention Margrethe’s toi et moi style ring of two square-cut diamonds set in yellow gold.

“Toi et moi translates as ‘you and me’ in French, and these rings always have two gemstones usually set on the end of a ring that coils around the finger.

“With the trend of these rings shooting up for 2022, we’re seeing many couples combining contrasting cuts and shapes of diamonds rather than a more traditional option of matching size and cuts.”

READ MORE: The royal whose favourite perfume costs £245 – & not Kate or Meghan

Princess Eugenie’s sapphire ring

Princess Eugenie debuted a sapphire ring upon her engagement to Jack Brooksbank in 2018, but Eugenie’s sapphire is distinctly different from the usual blue the gems are known for.

Thomas Schröck, CEO and Founder of The Natural Gem, told Express.co.uk: “Princess Eugenie’s engagement ring is as stunning as it is exotic, made up of a Welsh gold band adorned with a padparadscha sapphire surrounded by diamonds.

“It is truly a statement ring that combines tradition with a modern take on an Art Deco style engagement ring.

“The show-stopping padparadscha sapphire is one of the rarest gemstones in the world and can mainly be found in Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Madagascar.

“With its beautiful pinkish-orange glow, we can understand why it’s so popular. The name itself means flower in Sanskrit, and may perhaps have been the inspiration for the ring design, which bears a striking resemblance to a flower.”

Queen Victoria’s serpent ring

With its snake theme, Queen Victoria’s engagement ring may seem a bit unusual nowadays.

Alexandra Michell, Gemologist at Prestige Pawnbrokers of Channel 4’s Posh Pawn, said: “The most unusual and interesting in my opinion, of engagements (in ring and in circumstance), is Queen Victoria’s.

“Due to his standing, and Victoria being Queen at the time, Albert could not propose to her, so Victoria proposed to Albert instead.

“This union was a serendipitous marriage of love as well as strategy. Albert gifted Victoria a ring for their wedding in 1840, which he himself had designed.

“It was based on the symbolic serpent and dotted with different gems. The coiled snake itself was a historical representation of eternal love dating to antiquity.

“Made of yellow gold, ruby eyes, diamond maw, as well as a diamond and a large emerald embedded in the head. The emerald had even further meaning, as it was Victoria’s birthstone.

“It is said that Victoria wore the ring during her lifetime and was even buried with it when she died; expressing the boundlessness of her love for Albert even in death.”

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Crown Princess Mary of Denmark

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark owns a flag-themed engagement ring that she received from Crown Prince Frederik.

Two rubies and a central diamond were arranged to reflect the Danish flag, and over the years two extra diamonds have been added on either side.

The five gems are thought to represent Mary’s husband and their four children.

Wallis Simpson’s emerald ring

In 1936, King Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry Wallis Simpson, and he chose a stunning emerald ring for her.

Claire Beatson, Nightingale’s General Manager, said: “For coloured gemstone lovers, the captivating emerald engagement ring that Prince Edward VIII gave to Wallis Simpson is another sight to behold.

“However, the beauty of this engagement ring was sadly overshadowed by the scandal surrounding his abdication and marriage to the twice-divorced American.

“The 19-carat octagonal cut emerald was set in an 18-carat yellow gold cluster of 14 diamond-set leaf-shaped claws and is infamously engraved with “We are ours now 27 X 36″ relating to the proposal date October 27, 1936, a mere matter of weeks before his abdication on December 10.”



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