We've picked out several potential engagement ring options for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from the royals' jewelry collections

By Maria Mercedes Lara
August 04, 2017 01:08 PM
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With Pippa Middleton‘s wedding behind us, we’re setting our sights on the next possible royal nuptials — specifically Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The relationship between the royal, 32, and the Suits actress, 35, has been getting increasingly serious, with the prince showing a big display of affection by gallantly driving 100 miles to pick up Markle from London so she could attend Pippa’s wedding reception after the church service over the weekend.

But before there can be a wedding, there has to be a proposal — which means getting an engagement ring! Like Prince William before him, we assume that Harry will dip into the family’s expansive collection of jewelry to find something special for Markle.

To help him narrow down his search a bit, we’ve picked out a few rings from Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth and other royal family members’ collections that we think would make a perfect proposal bauble.

Queen Mary’s Emerald and Diamond Choker

Princess Diana (left and right) and Queen Mary wearing the choker
| Credit: Tim Graham/Getty; Popperfoto/Getty; Tim Graham/Getty

The royals are no strangers to dismantling older pieces of jewelry and turning them into something new — Prince Philip did it for the Queen’s engagement ring — so we shouldn’t rule out the idea that Harry might use old jewels in a new way. One likely option is reworking one of the emeralds from Queen Mary’s Art Deco emerald and diamond choker.

The necklace was commissioned by Mary (the Queen’s grandmother) in 1921 from Garrard out of a set of emeralds she had been gifted by the Ladies of India. However, the necklace really gained fame after Diana wore it as a bandeau across her forehead during a visit to Australia in 1985.

Diana wore the necklace several times after her great bandeau moment and it became — like the Cambridge Lovers Knot tiara — one of the pieces most associated with her, even if it technically was a loan from the Queen. It would be fitting then that Harry would use a stone from an iconic piece that’s linked with his late mother.

Queen Mary’s Town of Windsor ring

British Royalty, pic: 26th May 1947, HRH, Queen Mary laving Marlborough House for Buckingham Palace to celebrate her 80th birthday
Queen Mary wearing what appears to be the Town of Windsor ring in 1947
| Credit: Popperfoto/Getty

It may not be a well-known ring but Queen Mary’s Town of Windsor diamond ring would make a great engagement ring for Markle. According to The Queen’s Diamonds, the ring was presented to Mary by the town of Windsor and was reset by the queen in 1924. The ring passed on to the current Queen following the death of her own mother in 2002. The ring consists of three large diamonds set in platinum but has rarely been seen in public.

Queen Mother’s Engagement Ring

Margaret Rose
The Queen Mother (then Elizabeth, Duchess of York) holding the future Queen and showing off her ring in 1930
| Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty

The Queen Mother’s engagement ring featured a large sapphire stone with diamond accents. However, there are few good photos of her wearing the ring as she later switched it out for a large pearl and diamond ring (more on that ring below). Seeing as how it has a special connection to the royal family — and would most likely be in the Queen’s possession so she can give it to Harry — it might make a lovely and historical ring to give to Markle.

Queen Mother’s Pearl Ring

Queen Mother Portrait
The Queen Mother wearing her pearl ring
| Credit: Tim Graham/Getty

Pearl rings are an unconventional choice in the current diamond-heavy engagement ring market, which is why it would make such an interesting choice for Markle. The Queen Mother replaced her engagement ring with this stunner, which includes a massive pearl surrounded by diamonds. It’s not clear why she decided to switch out her sapphire ring, but she wore the pearl number until her death in 2002.

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Princess Margaret’s Aquamarine and Diamond Cluster Ring

Princess Margaret’s aquamarine and diamond cluster ring was sold at auction in 2006 for nearly $53,000 after her death. But, putting aside the fact that it’s no longer in the royal family and that it originally belonged to Margaret — making it not a particularly obvious choice for Harry to pick as her jewels would belong to her heirs — the ring would just look beautiful on Markle. With her dark hair and features, aquamarine could really be her stone.

Our only hope is that the ring somehow made its way back to the royal family or (the more likely option) there are some aquamarine chips lying around the Queen’s collection that Harry could fashion a spectacular ring out of.

Princess Diana’s Aquamarine Ring

Diana And Stepmother Raine Spencer At Christies
Princess Diana (right) wearing her aquamarine ring
| Credit: Tim Graham/Getty

Speaking of aquamarine, another plausible option is a ring that Diana often wore after her split from Charles. Most of the late princess’ jewels were left to William and Harry (although exact details haven’t been released) so Harry may already have the ring in his possession. However, this piece doesn’t really work as an engagement ring as the stone is far too big for every-day wear. We can’t really imagine Markle wearing this blinding rock while doing charity work or visiting impoverished countries. Maybe save this one for a gala or cocktail party.

Cullinan IX Ring

The Cullinan Diamond was the largest gem-quality diamond (a whopping 3,106.75 carats) ever found and was given as a gift to King Edward VII in 1907. It was subsequently broken down into several larger numbered stones — two of which became part of the Crown Jewels. However, the smaller numbered stones, and the 96 minor stones, were eventually inherited by the Queen in 1953. One of these is the Cullinan IX ring, a 4.4 carat pendeloque or stepped pear-shape diamond set on a simple band. It’s unlikely that Harry would give Markle a well-known diamond like this but perhaps one of the minor stones could be used to make a lovely ring for her.

The Wedding Band

Britain's Prince William puts the ring o
Prince William placing Princess Kate’s wedding ring in 2011

One thing we do know is that if he does get married, Harry’s future wife will wear a wedding band made of Welsh gold. The royal tradition for brides to wear Welsh gold wedding rings started with the marriage of King George VI to Elizabeth Bowes Lyon (the late Queen Mother) and hasn’t been broken for 94 years. We don’t see Harry or Meghan wanting to rock the boat when it comes to this.