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Duchess Sophie's 'blinding' £105k engagement ring has subtle Princess Diana link

Prince Edward and Duchess Sophie got engaged in 1999

Duchess Sophie clapping at Wimbledon 2017
Rachel Avery
Rachel AveryHomes Editor
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Prince Edward announced his engagement to the Duchess of Edinburgh, then Sophie Rhys-Jones, in January 1999, 18 years after his eldest brother King Charles got engaged to Princess Diana. Despite almost two decades separating the royal milestones, there remained a special link between Sophie and Diana's engagement rings.

The Queen's son proposed to the former PR executive with a diamond ring that was made by British royal jeweller Garrard – who was also responsible for Princess Diana's iconic sapphire and Sarah Ferguson's Burmese ruby.

WATCH: Most expensive royal weddings revealed

Design-wise, Sophie's ring was nothing like her sisters-in-law's, but it does bear several similarities to Her Majesty's special rock from Prince Philip and, more recently, the Duchess of Sussex's sentimental trilogy ring from Prince Harry.

sophie wessex engagement ring© Alamy
The Duchess of Edinburgh has a stunning trilogy engagement ring

Sophie's extremely elegant ring features a two-carat central oval diamond that is flanked by two smaller, heart-shaped diamonds, and Edward joked: "If it catches the sun, you'll be blinded."

The Duchess wears the ring, which is reported to be worth somewhere in the region of £105,000 ($149,000), alongside her Welsh gold wedding band.

Princess Diana wearing a pink suit and her engagement ring during her tour of Argentina.  © Getty
Princess Diana's engagement ring was also from Garrard

"It's impossible for anyone else to understand why this has taken me so long, but I don't think it would have been right before and I don't think Sophie would have said yes before," he told reporters at their engagement photocall. "Hopefully by the fact she did say yes I must have got the timing right."

sophie edward engagement© Getty
Sophie and Edward at their engagement photocall in January 1999

On the subject of the proposal, he added: "I managed to take her completely by surprise, she had no idea it was coming."

Sophie and Edward went on to say 'I do' in June 1999 at St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, which is also where Prince Harry and Meghan Markle chose to say their vows. Larger royal weddings such as that of Prince William and Kate Middleton tend to take place at Westminster Abbey, thanks to its imposing grandeur.

sophie wessex engagement ring wedding ring© Getty
Sophie sometimes wears her jewel alongside her wedding ring

A whopping 200 million viewers tuned in to watch Prince Edward's royal wedding, where Sophie wore a beautiful Samantha Shaw dress and a breathtaking tiara borrowed from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's private collection.

The couple have since become parents to two wonderful children: James, Viscount Severn, born in 2007, and Lady Louise Windsor, born in 2003.

Prince Edward and Sophie on their wedding day© Pool/Tim Graham Picture Library
The royals got married in June 1999

The family live together at Bagshot Park in Surrey, which was in fact a wedding present from the late Queen over 20 years ago!

Located just 11 miles away from Windsor Castle, the Grade-II listed building is set within 51 acres of land, and has 120 rooms, offering the family plenty of space inside and out. 

READ: Princess Diana shunned royal heirlooms for £123k engagement ring

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