If the royals know one thing, it's jewelry, and their engagement rings are no exception. We like to credit Wallis Simpson, the wife of Prince Edward (and the reason he abdicated the British throne), for starting the colored engagement ring trend. Since her, we've seen royals—and celebrities alike—opt for ruby rings, sapphire stones, and even orange diamonds.
Of course, plenty of royals still wear traditional diamond rings. Queen Elizabeth's 3-carat center stone is timeless, and Princess Sofia of Sweden's rock makes a strong case for pavé bands. Also, some eschew conventional settings in favor of more unique shapes. Princess Margaret's ruby ring mimicked a rosebud, and Queen Margrethe of Denmark's Toi et Moi design features two large diamonds to represent the bride and groom.
Whether you consider yourself classic or someone with a little more edge, here are 25 of our favorite royal rings from recent years. From Grace Kelly to Kate Middleton, the best engagement ring inspiration comes from the royals.
In recent history, Wallis Simpson was the first royal to start the colorful stone trend. Although her romance with Prince Edward forced him to abdicate the British throne, the royal proposed with a 19.77-carat emerald ring by Cartier. The ring is engraved with "We are ours now 27 x 36," indicating their engagement date: October 27, 1936. The most scandalous part? The engagement occurred before his abdication.
Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
While the Queen Mother’s original engagement ring was a little more classic (King George VI presented her with a sapphire ring with diamond accents), it’s the ring she swapped it out for later in life that really caught our attention. The band featured a large pearl, surrounded by a collar of diamonds, that was equally feminine and unusual.
Queen Elizabeth II
The Queen’s engagement ring—given to her by Prince Philip in 1947—will never go out of style. Sourced from a tiara, the diamonds originally belonged to Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Greece—a gift she received from Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra of Russia. The round 3-carat center stone is flanked by clusters of smaller gems, all set in timeless platinum. Queen Elizabeth II pairs the ring with a Welsh gold band, a nearly century-old tradition in the family.
Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco
The actress-turned-princess gave a generation plenty of royal style inspiration, and it all started with an eye-catching engagement ring. The centerpiece of her Cartier ring is an over 10-carat emerald-cut diamond flanked by baguette stones set in platinum.
After a failed engagement to Group Captain Peter Townsend, Princess Margaret accepted a ring from photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones. The engagement ring features a ruby surrounded by diamonds, made to look like a rosebud. Her future husband's vision was a nod to her middle name, Rose.
Princess Margrethe of Denmark
Queen Margrethe of Denmark's engagement ring is one of the most unique designs we've seen yet. Her husband proposed with a Toi et Moi ring (which is the style du jour) in 2022 set with two diamonds to represent the bride and groom. Although her husband of fifty years passed away in 2018, she still wears the engagement ring he gave her in 1967.
Prince Charles proposed to Diana with a collection of rings from Garrard, the crown jeweler at the time, asking her to choose her favorite. As a rather unconventional choice, Diana chose a gorgeous 12-carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire set in 18-karat white gold. Surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds, it is now one of the most recognizable rings in history.
Sarah Ferguson's royal engagement ring is also from Garrard. The oval-cut Burmese ruby is surrounded by 10 diamonds and set on a gold band. Rumor has it, the bright stone was chosen because it matched Sarah's fiery red hair.
Lady Sarah Chatto
Lady Sarah, Princess Margaret's only daughter, wed Daniel Chatto in 1994. He proposed with a vintage cluster engagement ring.
Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece
Sapphires have popped up time and again as the featured stone of royal engagement rings, and the same goes for the ring that Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece. A cabochon sapphire in an East-West setting is placed alongside a heart-shaped diamond in an elegant and non-traditional pairing.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex
Married to Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex (son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip), Sophie’s engagement ring is a Garrard design. The diamond sparkler features three stones: An oval-cut center stone, flanked by two heart-shaped diamonds, set in white gold. The silhouette of the ring is totally classic, and those heart-shaped stones are a sweet, romantic addition.
Queen Maxima of The Netherlands
Argentinian-born Queen Maxima's engagement ring pays homage to her husband's nation: The Netherlands. The ring features an orange oval diamond flanked by two bullet-cut diamonds between two diamond bands. Orange is the color of The Netherlands, making it the perfect shade for the royal bride.
Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
Crown Princess Mary met Crown Prince Frederik in Sydney, Australia in 2000 when both attended the Olympic summer games. When the Prince proposed three years later, he presented his now-wife with a ring inspired by Denmark’s flag. The stepped design features a center emerald-cut diamond, with emerald-cut rubies on either side.
Queen Letizia of Spain
Known for her flawless taste, it’s no surprise Queen Letizia’s engagement ring makes a statement. Instead of the usual center stone on a band, the queen’s ring is a modern eternity band featuring a series of baguette-cut diamonds. Like Queen Elizabeth II and Duchess Catherine, she also mixes metals and pairs the ring with a yellow gold wedding band.
Camilla Parker Bowles
For his second chance at love, Prince Charles proposed to his longtime love Camilla Parker Bowles with a ring from his grandmother's collection. The Art Deco ring shows off a large emerald-cut diamond flanked by smaller emerald-cut diamonds.
Autumn Phillips was the first to marry one of Queen Elizabeth II's grandchildren. Peter Phillips, the son of Princess Anne, proposed with a platinum ring that features an oval-cut diamond flanked by smaller diamonds.
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden's diamond engagement ring broke Swedish tradition when Daniel Westling proposed in 2009. In Sweden, it's customary for the bride and groom to exchange gold bands upon engagement and purchase a diamond ring for the bride on their wedding day. Westling, however, proposed with a white gold solitaire ring with a round brilliant-cut stone.
Daughter of Princess Anne and granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, Zara, an Olympic equestrian, married rugby player Mike Tindall. When he proposed in 2010, he presented her with a ring fit for royalty. The round center diamond is set above a split-shank band with an extra dose of sparkle coming from channel-set diamonds.
Princess Charlene of Monaco
Married to Grace Kelly’s son, Prince Albert II, Princess Charlene is yet another royal Olympian with a spectacular engagement ring. Her ring is a break from more traditional designs, featuring a three-carat, pear-cut diamond. Surrounding round diamonds enhance the center stone’s inherent sparkle.
Princess Madeleine of Sweden
The youngest child of King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden, Princess Madeleine married financier Christopher O’Neill in 2013. Her engagement ring features a large Asscher-cut stone in a minimalist setting, atop a simple pavé shank. She paired it with a matching delicate pavé band, which complements the Art Deco facets of the center stone.
Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton's engagement ring has a very special history as it is the same sapphire ring Prince William's father, Prince Charles, used to propose to his mother, Diana. Gifting the ring to his future wife was Prince William's way of honoring his mother's memory. Because of its historical significance, the iconic sapphire ring is priceless.
Princess Sofia of Sweden
In 2014, Prince Carl Phillip proposed to model Sofia Hellqvist with a round diamond, surrounded by a ring of smaller diamonds set on a pavé band. Following their wedding, Princess Sofia now pairs the engagement ring with a diamond-encrusted wedding band.
Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex
There was plenty of speculation surrounding Prince Harry's impending engagement to Megan Markle around what ring he would propose with. While many thought he would choose something from Princess Diana's collection, the royal chose to design the ring himself. The three-stone stunner includes a center diamond from Botswana, a country that the couple holds close to their heart. Diamonds from Princess Diana's collection flank either side. In 2019, the Duchess gave her ring an upgrade, swapping the original solid gold band for a thin micro-pavé one.
Princess Eugenie's engagement ring from Jack Brooksbank bears a resemblance to her mother's colorful engagement ring. The ring features an oval pink-orange padparadscha sapphire surrounded by diamonds.
As the most recent royal to get engaged, Princess Beatrice's ring materially differs from the jewels of her sister, Princess Eugenie, and her mother, Sarah Ferguson. Her fiancé, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi, proposed with a three-stone engagement ring, featuring a round-cut center diamond flanked by a pair of baguette diamonds. The royal ring was designed by jeweler Shaun Lane.