Rubies and royalty: rubies set with diamonds have been a popular choice for rings for many members of the British Royal Family – especially when it comes to engagement rings.
One magnificent example of the link between Rubies and Royalty is the ruby ring was given to Queen Victoria by her half sister Feodora, Princess Hohenlohe-Langenburg in 1840, at the time of her marriage to Prince Albert.
Although the ring was not itself an engagement ring, it is typical of The Romantic Movement style rings of the Victorian Period.
The ring has two overlapping pear shaped gemstones (a ruby and a diamond) with a ruby and diamond tiara setting above the stones.
Many years later, a similar style of ruby and diamond ring was given by Charles Earl Spencer (Princess Diana’s brother) to his first wife Victoria Lockwood.
The ring, shown here on the left, has co-joined ruby and diamond gemstones, surrounded by small diamonds that are set to create the impression of a heart and topped with a tiara above the stones. The couple married in 1989 and went on to have 4 children. They divorced in 1997.
In 1893, another beautiful Victorian diamond and ruby ring was given, as a wedding gift, to HRH the Duchess of York, who later became Queen Mary. The gift was given to her by her father-in-law, the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward vii.
The ring is a Marquise shaped diamond with rubies set in platinum and gold. It is shown here on the right and is a magnificant example of the jeweler’s craft.
HRH Princess Anne, also chose a ruby ring for her engagement to Captain Mark Phillips – her first husband.
The ring comprises a central ruby gemstone, flanked by a diamond on each side. The couple married in 1973 and had two children, Peter and Zara; they divorced in 1992
The ruby ring has similarities to that of another royal ruby engagement ring, worn by HRH Princess Margaret, in that both rings have a central ruby stone surrounded by diamonds.
HRH Princess Margaret’s Ruby and Diamond Engagement ring was designed by her husband, Anthony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowden. The ring, comprising a central ruby surrounded by diamonds, was set in the shape of a rose, because Princess Margaret’s second name was Rose.
The most famous Royal Ring of recent times is, of course, Princess Diana’s engagement ring.
However, this is a blue Sapphire ring not a ruby.
This ring was given by Prince william to Kate Middleton as an engagement ring.
Sapphires and rubies come from the same mineral; it is only the color that really separates them. So it could be argued that to some extent at least, Diana was following in the Royal tradition.
The ring is shown being worn by Kate, now Duchess of Cambridge, at her engagemnet photo-shoot on the left and by Princess Diana below.