The engagement of Prince William to Catherine Middleton, sealed with the late Princess Diana’s sapphire ring, has sparked renewed interest in colored gemstone engagement rings. In contrast to the United States where clear diamonds are the norm, colored gemstone engagement rings are also popular in Europe, particularly within royal circles. Within Europe’s monarchies, several princesses have colored gemstone engagement rings.
Princess Mary of Denmark
Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark proposed to Australian Mary Donaldson in 2003 after three years together. He presented her with an engagement ring consisting of an emerald cut diamond flanked by two emerald cut rubies set on a white gold band.
Princess Marie of Denmark
Prince Joachim, the younger son of Queen Margrethe II, chose a custom design for Marie Cavallier that most likely has never been seen before. Honoring her French heritage, the ring is a wide gold band with three large oval stones, a ruby, a diamond and sapphire, set next to each other.
Princess Maxima of The Netherlands
Crown Prince Willem-Alexander’s relationship with Argentinean Maxima Zorreguieta Cerruti initially faced opposition from the Dutch government and public because her father served as Argentina’s Minister of Agriculture during General Videla’s brutal military dictatorship. Despite this controversy, the relationship remained strong and she was presented with a beautiful engagement ring in 2001. Set in a diamond-studded platinum band, the ring has an oval shaped orange diamond flanked by two clear diamonds. As Willem is from the House of Orange, it is only fitting that his bride has an orange engagement ring.
Princess Mathilde of Belgium
Princess Mathilde d’Udekem d’Acoz became Belgium’s first Belgium-born queen consort when she married the shy Prince Philippe in 1999. Mathilde’s engagement ring is a large oval ruby set in a wide gold band.
Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
Like Prince Willem’s relationship with Maxima in The Netherlands, Crown Prince Haakon’s relationship with Mette-Marit Tjesserm Hoiby initially faced controversy due to the fact that she was a single mother to a young boy, the father of whom was a convicted drug dealer. Despite this initial hiccup, the controversy died down and Mette-Marit has comfortably grown into her role as Norway’s Crown Princess. Her engagement ring, featuring two rubies, is a family heirloom that was also Queen Sonja’s engagement ring.