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While Prince Beatrice’s engagement and wedding rings made headlines for breaking the rules, Princess Eugenie’s sparkler was a little more traditional (and was reported to cost between £7 and £10k.
It featured a large Padparadscha Sapphire, a rare stone that has a pink tint to it, surrounded by diamonds. At the time, now-husband Jack Brooksbank said he chose the ring because, ‘it changes colour when it hits certain lights, much like Eugenie’ – very romantic.
While the ring was unique thanks to the stone, royal fans were quick to point out that it was very similar to Kate Middleton’s engagement ring, which is of course the blue sapphire surrounded by diamonds that belonged to Princess Diana.
But actually, the resemblance is more to do with Eugenie’s mother, Fergie’s engagement ring, which Jack might have been inspired by.
Fergie’s ring was designed by royal jewellery Garrard & Co. It was an oval ruby, surrounded by a halo of 10 diamonds. It was remarkably similar to the sapphire ring Prince Charles gave Princess Diana, and for good reason, as the couple picked it together from the same jeweller’s catalogue, causing controversy at the time as it wasn’t an heirloom.
While Prince Andrew did design the style himself, jewellers tend to have a house style, and he was probably inspired by other designs he saw. Both engagements happened in the 80s too (Diana in 1981 and Fergie in 1986), so they both fit in with that decade’s trends.
Jamie Samhan, the deputy editor at Royal Central, told Marie Claire US, ‘Many people noticed the resemblance to the Duchess of Cambridge’s engagement ring, that once belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales. The reason that they look very much the same is that Diana’s ring was by Garrard & Co in 1981 and Sarah’s ring was from the same designer a few short years later in 1986.
‘Prince Andrew did personally design the ring that was given to Fergie, compared to Diana’s that was from the collection, but most designers tend to stick to a signature style. So when Jack set out to create a ring for Eugenie just like her mother’s, the groundwork that it would also resemble Diana/Kate’s ring was already there.’
Eugenie and Jack went on to tie the knot in October 2018, and the bride chose a wedding ring made of Welsh gold, as is custom for royal brides.