Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip announced their engagement on July 9, 1947. The young couple looked completely smitten while posing for official photos together, but we wouldn’t be surprised if onlookers got distracted by the dazzling diamonds on her hand. Philip designed the impressive engagement ring himself — with a little help from his mother’s jewelry collection.
The platinum band features diamonds that Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, received for her own wedding nearly half a century before he popped the question to Elizabeth. However, they were in the form of a glistening tiara at the time. It was given to Alice by notable family members: Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra (Alice’s aunt), the last imperial Romanovs of Russia.
Philip repurposed the jewels to place on Elizabeth’s finger and also used some for a bracelet he gave her as a wedding gift. Take a look below to see Alice wearing the tiara in 1908 and a more recent close-up of Elizabeth’s engagement ring:
That wasn’t the only time Philip added a sweet touch to Elizabeth’s jewelry, though. According to People, there’s an inscription inside her gold wedding band — but aside from the couple, the jeweler who engraved it is the only one who knows what it says. Considering how much love Philip and Elizabeth had between them, we’re sure he chose heartwarming words.
Philip also clearly passed his sentimentality on to his grandsons, Prince William and Prince Harry. They each used jewelry from their own mother, Princess Diana, when proposing to their now-wives. Kate Middleton famously wears Diana’s sapphire engagement ring while Megan Markle dons diamonds Harry chose from his mom’s personal collection.
We love how each of these gorgeous rings beautifully blends new love stories with those from the past.