The story behind Queen Elizabeth's engagement ring

Katie Robinson
Photo credit: Hearst Communications, Inc. All rights reserved

From Harpers Bazaar UK

The Queen has plenty of jewels at her disposal, but there's one piece of jewellery that she rarely takes off: her three-carat round diamond engagement ring.

What's more beautiful than the ring itself, however, is the story behind it. The diamonds - a centre stone flanked by 10 smaller pave diamonds - were originally part of a tiara owned by Prince Philip's mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, who was Queen Victoria's great-granddaughter.

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In 1946, knowing that her son was planning to propose, Philip's mother gifted him the tiara she was given on her wedding day so it could be dismantled and used to create a ring fit for a Queen.

The Prince worked with London jeweller Philip Antrobus Ltd. to design it himself, and even went one step further: he selected additional stones from the tiara and turned them into a wide diamond bracelet for the Queen, which he gave to her as a wedding gift.

The diamonds themselves actually date back to the very end of Romanov dynasty. His mother had been given the tiara on her wedding day by Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra of Russia, the last rulers of the Russian Empire and to whom she was distantly related. Now, pieces of it lie on the ring finger of the British monarch.

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