The Story Of Princess Anne’s Trend-Setting Engagement Ring Defying Royal Precedent

Jul 22, 2021 by apost team

Princess Anne — Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip's only daughter — has led a quiet and more private life than many of her nieces and nephews. Like most of her siblings, she shares mostly formal photos and pre-approved stories, all of which are posted only when they are officially sanctioned. Royal fans rarely get a look inside Anne's life regardless; however, even though she has been reported to be one of the busiest working senior members of the royal family, Prince Charles and Prince William are in line for the throne and tend to make the news more often. 

One aspect of life that Princess Anne is known for is her fashion. Like many royals, the media is always reporting on what she's wearing, including her jewelry. This time the article of interest is Princess Anne's engagement ring, which is not only unconventional but has also caught the eye of fans around the globe. 

Princess Anne has been married twice, her first marriage being to Mark Phillips in 1973. When Princess Anne married Timothy Laurence in 1992, both her wedding attire and her engagement ring broke the mold in comparison to all royal weddings that came before. While most royals wear a clear jewel, usually a diamond, to honor their marriage proposal, Princess Anne opted for another less-traditional gem that added a rare component to her engagement ring. The colored stone is eye-catching but not overwhelming. 

Read on to learn more about Princess Anne's trend-setting engagement ring and how it broke the standard compared to how other royal engagement rings look. 

Princess Anne, Timothy Laurence (2018), (Mark Cuthbert/UK Press/Getty Images)

Princess Anne met Timothy Laurence while he was serving on the queen's Royal Yacht Britannia. As their relationship blossomed in early 1989, Laurence was honored with the appointment of equerry to the queen. In the same year, The Sun leaked the fact that there were private letters circulating between the two. Just three years later, in December of 1992, Princess Anne and Laurence got married at Crathie Kirk near Balmoral Castle in Scotland. The service was small and private, with around thirty guests in total in attendance. Princess Anne wore a high-necked, white, tailored dress with a jacket instead of the more traditional wedding dress. Because she was married previously, Princess Anne's remarriage meant that she became the first royal divorcée to remarry since Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, granddaughter of Queen Victoria.

In her first marriage to Mark Phillips, Princess Anne also had a non-traditional engagement ring. According to The Court Jeweller, Phillips "proposed with a Garrard ring featuring a central sapphire flanked by a pair of diamonds in 1973." One tie that her former engagement ring and the one she received from Laurence have in common is that they both opt for the colorful sapphire as a gem instead of the traditional, clear diamond. Her cabochon sapphire from Laurence is on a simple gold band and features small diamonds on each side of the sapphire.

According to Express, head of bespoke Anna Buyers, said about Anne's first ring:

"The first engagement ring, given by Mark Phillips, features a cabochon cut blue sapphire of about two carats."

Princess Anne (1994), (Tim Graham Photo Library/Getty Images)

Buyers elaborated:

"Cabochon cut gems have a smooth, rounded finish and are not faceted, giving a soft, silk-like feel to the stone. The cabochon gem is framed by a cluster of three small diamonds either side totalling approx 0.2 carats, set in yellow gold."

Such a flashy ring certainly came with a high price tag. Buyers continued

"This one would be priced at £9,000 (around $12,000). I find it an interesting design that holds a true 1970s vintage style."

However, two times must be the charm, as Princess Anne's second engagement ring is allegedly worth almost double her first one. Buyers explained:

"The second engagement ring is from Princess Anne's second husband, Timothy Laurence, and has a slightly smaller sapphire accompanied by two diamonds on either side. The sapphire is of a deep blue colour intensity, with two side stones that look to be around 0.5 carats each. It's a very elegant, vintage design that sits beautifully on the finger. Because of the size of the stones, I would say this engagement ring would cost around £20,000 (around $27,000) to create."

Buyers also went on to delve into the significance of the choice of sapphire over diamonds:

"Both Princess Anne's engagement rings feature vivid blue sapphires. Sapphires symbolise honesty, trust and wisdom. They hold so much significance beyond being simple jewellery items. If someone is looking to create a more distinctive engagement ring, sapphires can be a good option as they are durable and are resistant to scratching. The blue also lends a unique look to the rings, as we can see here with Princess Anne."

Princess Anne (2019), (Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

What do you think of Princess Anne's engagement rings? Let us know your thoughts, and be sure to pass this on to other royal fans you know!

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