Queen Mother completely altered her engagement ring despite featuring ‘rarest’ stone

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After reportedly three rejections, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon finally agreed to Prince Albert’s wedding proposal and the two were married soon after. The couple’s ceremony was lower key than those of previous future monarchs – mainly because nobody knew Albert’s older brother would soon abdicate and he would have to accede to the throne.

However, Prince Albert still proposed to his fiancée with a beautiful engagement ring.

A sapphire ring with diamond accents, the ring was made with a Kashmir sapphire.

Kashmir diamonds are “the most rare and highly prized of all sapphires”, according to experts at the Antique Jewellery Company.

However, this did not stop the Queen Mother from drastically altering the valuable ring a few years later.

Although it is not clear when Elizabeth swapped her engagement ring for a completely new design, she was seen wearing the second ring as early as 1946.

In the picture, she is seen posing with her daughters Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret at the Royal Lodge in Windsor.

The new engagement ring is on her finger.

The ring featured a large pearl surrounded by tiny diamonds.

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Women in the Royal Family have worn pearls for centuries and many jewels featuring the white gemstone have been passed down the generations.

They are popular within the Firm because they have always “been associated with class, elegance and sophistication since the Ptolemaic dynasty in ancient Egypt, where the royal family wore pearls to show their status”, according to Arseiny Budrevich, founder of Budrevich Fine Jewellery Studio.

The jewellery expert continued: “This tradition was then passed down through the holy Roman empire to the French monarchs who carried it into fashion in the middle ages, where it was subsequently dispersed through Europe.

“This is when the British empire picked up the style.”

The Queen Mother was clearly a fan of pearls as she also often wore a pearl necklace, usually two or three strings together, as her daughter did after her.

On her wedding day, Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon wore a 1920s style ivory dress embroidered with pearls and silver thread.

She chose not to wear a tiara, opting for a modern floral headpiece instead.

She matched this with three necklaces of varying length and her wedding ring was a simple band made of Welsh gold.

Other members of the Royal Family have altered their engagement rings since the Queen Mother.

When Prince Harry proposed to Meghan Markle in November 2017, the Prince gave the Duchess of Sussex a gold trilogy ring with diamonds both from Botswana and from Princess Diana’s personal collection.

But, just over 18 months later, Meghan replaced the ring’s yellow gold band with a delicate diamond-studded band. The Duchess of Cambridge had her ring adjusted too: her reason being that it was too big.

Prince William gave his fiancée his mother’s sapphire and diamond engagement ring.

However, what is interesting about the Queen Mother is that she was proposed to by Prince Albert three times before saying “yes”.

The first time was as early as 1921, but, according to Elizabeth’s biographer, John Ezard, she turned him down because she felt “afraid never, never again to be free to think, speak and act as I feel I really ought to”.

Albert is reported to have proposed a second time when Elizabeth was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Princess Mary to Henry, Viscount Lascelles at Westminster Abbey.

Once again Elizabeth turned down the Prince’s proposal and many reports state there was even a third rejection.

The Queen Mother was reportedly unsure about the restrictions that would be placed on her by marrying into the Royal Family.

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