Queen Elizabeth "never" takes off her wedding ring, according to a new biography on Prince Philip

By Stephanie Petit
October 05, 2020 11:54 AM
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Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip
Steve Parsons/PA

Prince Philip added a personal (and secretive!) touch to Queen Elizabeth's wedding ring.

The monarch's gold ring contains an inscription known to just three people, royal biographer Ingrid Seward reveals in her new book Prince Philip: A Portrait of the Duke of Edinburgh.

"At least Philip didn't have the expense of a wedding ring, as the people of Wales supplied a nugget of Welsh gold from which the ring is made," she wrote. "She never takes it off and inside the ring is an inscription. No one knows what it says, other than the engraver, the Queen and her husband."

Since the Queen Mother’s wedding in 1923, the royal family has been using Welsh gold for their wedding bands. Recent royal brides Princess Eugenie, and Meghan Markle both followed the nearly 100-year tradition, as did Kate Middleton when she married Prince William in 2011. (Princess Beatrice recently broke from the tradition in favor of a platinum wedding band to match her engagement ring.)

Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images

Prince Philip also had a strong hand in designing the Queen's engagement ring. He turned to his mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg (later known as Princess Andrew of Greece and Denmark), when it came time to propose, and Princess Alice gave her son a diamond-and-aquamarine encrusted tiara that she had been given as a wedding gift.

Philip worked with a local jeweler to repurpose the tiara's diamonds into an engagement ring featuring a brilliant-cut diamond solitaire with five pavé diamonds on each side all in a classic platinum setting.

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's wedding
Popperfoto/Getty

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Queen Elizabeth, 94, and Prince Philip, 99, departed Balmoral Castle in Scotland last month after their summer break to "spend time privately on the Sandringham Estate" in Norfolk. Palace spokespeople added that it's the Queen's "intention" to return to Windsor Castle this month, visiting Buckingham Palace in London for "selected audiences and engagements."