Princess Margaret broke tradition with a £8,000 ruby engagement ring – shows ‘passion’

Princess Margaret was 'jealous' of Diana and Fergie says Bond

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Princess Margaret’s engagement ring is one of the world’s most Googled, pulling in 3,400 monthly searches. According to Design Bundles, this is well above the average searches for royal engagement rings. The sumptuous ruby trilogy ring, surrounded by smaller diamonds, was designed by her future husband Antony Armstrong-Jones to resemble a rosebud, after Margaret’s middle name Rose.

Antony threw all royal conventions out of the window when he proposed to the Queen’s younger sister Princess Margaret in 1960.

He chose one of the most unique shapes ever for her engagement ring.

Antony, who later became the Earl of Snowdon, was already a unique choice as a husband as he was a photographer and filmmaker, as opposed to being born from noble birth.

After a failed engagement to Group Captain Peter Townsend, Princess Margaret accepted a rosebud ring from the handsome photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones.

The engagement ring features a ruby surrounded by diamonds made to look like a rosebud.

Rubies are popular for their beauty and durability, making them an ideal gemstone for engagement rings.

Their rich and vibrant colour is also “synonymous with royalty and passion” according to Steven Stone experts, which was perfect for Princess Margaret.

The sentimental choice behind the choice of flower after Margaret’s name was in keeping with other royal rings with a sentimental value.

From Prince William proposing to Kate Middleton with his mother Princess Diana’s ring, to Queen Elizabeth’s dazzling diamonds that were passed down from Prince Philip’s mother, royal engagement rings often have a sentimental backstory.

However, the ring was a break from royal tradition with usual royal engagement rings, which are usually made from diamonds or sapphires, not rubies.

Margaret and Antony tied the knot at Westminster Abbey on May 6, 1960, just over two months after they surprised fans with their engagement announcement.

This followed a low-key two-year relationship between the couple, the first match of Margaret’s to be approved by the Queen.

Their nuptials have gone down in history since it was the first royal wedding to be broadcast on television.

An estimated 300 million viewers tuned in and Princess Margaret looked sensational.

Since then, all high-profile royal couples have followed suit, with the likes of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s weddings also becoming momentous TV occasions.

The bride looked beautiful in a silk gown by Norman Hartnell, featuring long sleeves and a full skirt which reportedly used over 30 metres of fabric.

Margaret accessorised the gown with the Poltimore tiara and a long veil that filled the length of the cathedral aisle.

Following their wedding, Princess Margaret and her husband welcomed two children together, David Armstrong-Jones and Lady Sarah Chatto in 1961 and 1964 respectively.

However, the pair separated after 16 years of marriage and in 1978 they became the first royals to divorce since King Henry VIII in 1540.

It was claimed at the time to have cost £250 in 1960 and is said to still have a relatively low price tag today.

An expert from The Vintage Ring Company said: “Today, I’d value a ring like this one just below the £8,000 mark, but it’s tricky to be certain without an idea of the quality of that central stone and the exact size of the halo diamonds.”

Princess Margaret died at the age of 71 years on February 9, 2002 following ill health.

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