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Princess Margaret's trend-setting engagement ring following surprise proposal - photos

The monarch's late sister was given a sentimental rock

princess margaret engagement ring
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
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The late Princess Margaret announced her engagement to Antony Armstrong-Jones in 1960 after a very private relationship.

SEE: 21 royal engagement rings that are total show-stoppers

The Queen's sister was given a unique coloured engagement ring from the photographer, which went on to become popular among other royal ladies. Antony proposed with a ruby surrounded by diamonds which resembled a rosebud as a sweet tribute to Princess Margaret's middle name, Rose.

WATCH: Which royal has the most expensive engagement ring? Prices and meanings revealed

Since then, Prince Andrew presented his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson with a Burmese ruby and diamond ring, and Princess Eugenie was given a padparadscha sapphire from Jack Brooksbank – both of which formed flower patterns much like Margaret's ring.

Margaret and Antony met at a dinner party in 1958, and they reportedly began dating when Antony was commissioned to photograph the royal. However, Margaret chose to keep her love life under wraps – until she posed for official engagement portraits with Antony in the grounds of Royal Lodge.

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margaret antony engagement

Princess Margaret's ring was made of rubies and diamonds

"Nobody knew about their relationship, there wasn't a whisper about it," Anne de Courcy, author of the biography Snowdon, told Town & Country. "She would see him in secret at his studio and yes, he would join her at parties, but no one could pinpoint which man she was interested in. The press focused more on the ones who were seen to be eligible. They didn't think of Tony who was often in the background."

Although she hasn't shared any close-up photos of her special rock, Margaret's ring was just visible on her finger as she admired the roses in the garden of the Windsor residence, which is now where Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah call home.

Sarah Ferguson engagement ring

Sarah Ferguson and Princess Eugenie have similar flower-shaped rings

Margaret and Antony went on to get married at Westminster Abbey on 6 May 1960, just over two months after their engagement announcement. Their nuptials have gone down in history since it was the first royal wedding to be broadcast on television, with an estimated 300 million viewers tuning in.

READ: Lady Sarah Chatto looks stunning in unearthed wedding day photo

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Most royal couples have followed suit, with the likes of Prince Charles and the late Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's weddings also becoming momentous TV occasions.

princess margaret antony armstrong jones royal wedding

The couple got married in 1960

The bride looked beautiful in a silk organza gown by Norman Hartnell that featured long sleeves and a full skirt using over 30 metres of fabric. She accessorised the gown with the Poltimore tiara and a cathedral-length veil.

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

RELATED: The real story of Princess Margaret's first love Peter Townsend

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