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Exclusive: Princess Beatrice’s engagement took FOUR months to plan - details

We spoke to the royal's engagement ring designer

princess beatrice
Sophie Hamilton
Parenting Editor
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It's been an exciting day for royal fans with the engagement of Princess Beatrice and her fiancé Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi. Buckingham Palace announced the happy news on Thursday, revealing that Edoardo asked Beatrice to marry him while away in Italy in early September, with their wedding to take place in 2020. Now, HELLO! can exclusively reveal that Beatrice's fiancé began planning his proposal four months ago when he consulted Mayfair atelier Shaun Leane to design the engagement ring. Shaun told us that the beautiful diamond ring was hand-cast in platinum in his Mayfair workshop. The central stone is 2.5 carat with two baguettes either side, ¾ of a carat each. "The diamonds are ethically sourced and of the highest colour and clarity," he revealed.

Shaun, who worked for Alexander McQueen for 20 years and has made pieces for both Duchess Kate and Duchess Meghan, spoke to HELLO! about the process of making Beatrice's stunning ring. He said: "The actual ring is handcrafted, so the whole process has been about three to four months, from Edoardo coming in to see me. We talked about the design and shared thoughts and elements to put into it to make it personal. I would say the design took about two months, less than that, maybe six weeks and then the crafting of the ring has been about eight to ten weeks."

MORE: How the royals inspire engagement ring trends

ring side view

The jeweller also spoke on Edoardo's character: "He's very romantic and very considered and very thoughtful." He added: "I'm an artist and to work with someone like Edoardo who is really passionate about ascetic and romance, it fuels me and my drive and my passion too."

Beatrice's fiancé had firm ideas on the type of ring he wanted, reveals Shaun. "He came to me and he knew he wanted a round diamond. He knew he wanted a modern classic; something that had a little bit of difference to it, that wasn't just a classic that we see everywhere. That's why he came to me. So basically, what I wanted to do with him - because he had an aesthetic for art deco and Beatrice has an aesthetic for Victorian – we fused the two and mixed an art deco element with a Victorian element to the ring so that there was a fusion of their favourite aspects."

beatrice edorado

Shaun says designing the ring with Edoardo was a 'wonderful experience'. He would go away and fuse both of their ideas and he sketched between 40 and 50 versions of the ring until they were both happy with the design. Shaun then painted a visual of the finished ring, after which he ethically sourced some diamonds for Edoardo to choose from.

MORE: The most romantic royal proposals – from Princess Beatrice to Kate Middleton

He said: "Then he came in again and we went through stones and their colours and clarities and then the crafting procedure began." He added: "Every evening and the end of the day I would email images of the making of the ring, from the melting of platinum to it being forged, to it being set, to it being polished, to the final piece of it being absolutely finished."

princess beatrice dancing edoardo

Photo credit: Misan Harriman

Edorado contacted Shaun after a recommendation through a friend, and says working with him was a beautiful journey and an honour. "Bespoke for me is a real enjoyable journey because it allows me to incorporate really personal details and peoples aesthetics and really create a jewel that can last forever but not only is it crafted to stand the test of time it holds elements of the people I'm crafting for so it's really unique."

When asked if Edoardo was nervous about Beatrice's reaction to the ring, Shaun explained that while it's normal for a man to be nervous with a surprise proposal, every element of the design was very considered. And fortunately, Beatrice loves it, as Edoardo has reported back to the jeweller. "He said she adores the ring and that she's really happy. It so lovely, it really is so lovely, they're such a beautiful couple."

beatrice edoardo look

Photo credit: Misan Harriman

In addition to the very personal design elements, it appears Beatrice's exquisite ring is also marked with some kind of personal message from her fiancé. Shaun reveals: "The Victorians would incorporate very beautiful sentimentally into the design and that's what I have done here and, unfortunately, they are personal, so I can't reveal what those are."

Shaun told HELLO! that he will be also making Beatrice's wedding band and possibly Edoardo's too. "I have yet to meet Beatrice, so I'm really looking forward to that and getting to know her as well. Knowing that she's over the moon, she adores the ring and is so extremely happy, it really warms my heart."

beatrice and edoardo hugging

Photo credit: Misan Harriman

Despite being privy to the exciting royal news for four whole months, Shaun insists it wasn't difficult keeping the engagement ring a secret. "It wasn't, because I'm very respectful and I'm a man of my word and I promised him I would deal with him only. I honoured my word and I'm really glad we did so that they got to make their announcement when they choose to. It has been a wonderful day."

Duchess Meghan is also a huge fan of Shaun's work, having worn a pair of his earrings from his Signature Tusk Collection for the Queen's 92nd birthday concert. He told us of Meghan: "She's a very, very big ambassador of my work and it's very flattering for me to know I've dressed Kate and I've dressed Meghan and now to have Beatrice wearing my work is beautiful. I mean, three amazing women wearing my work is a real honour and is really flattering to me."

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