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Exclusive: Princess Kate and Princess Eugenie's royal wedding ring secrets laid bare

British royal brides all have Clogau Welsh gold wedding rings

Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
22 April 2024
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Royal brides may have been given very unique engagement rings, but their wedding rings all had one thing in common – they were crafted from the same nugget of gold from the Clogau St. David’s Gold Mine.

The tradition started in 1923 when Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the Queen Mother, married the Duke of York. The couple enlisted the help of Clogau, who already had "a long and illustrious history" with the British royal family, to create the ring that would symbolise their marriage. 

The Duke of York and Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon posing with their family on their wedding day© Print Collector
The Duke of York's wife Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon started the tradition of having her wedding ring crafted from Clogau gold in 1923

"The symbolism of Welsh gold within the royal family is a subtle nod to the proud and noble heritage of Wales, and highlights how important the country is to them," Clogau's Managing Director Ben Roberts told HELLO!.

Over one century later, other brides such as Queen Elizabeth II, the Princess of Wales, Princess Eugenie and the Duchess of Sussex have followed suit. But Ben has discussed "concerns" that supplies are diminishing, which calls into question how long this tradition will be able to continue.

Thousands of photos have documented their symbolic plain gold bands, from the moment they slipped it on their finger at their wedding ceremony to daily royal outings, but very little is known about them. 

Shining light on some of the secrets of the brand loved by the royals, he said: "With gold mining currently inactive, we know there’s a concern about gold supplies eventually running out.

"Welsh gold is possibly the rarest in the world, so we carefully make sure to include only a small amount within each piece of Clogau jewellery. Our goal is to help preserve the longevity of Welsh gold, whilst keeping Clogau affordable and accessible."

Close-up of Princess Eugenie's engagement and wedding rings© Getty
Princess Eugenie is one of many royals whose wedding ring was created from the same nugget

While the royals' rings appear to be plain at first glance, Ben said they are "unique" and "personally customised." But do they feature the trademark Welsh Dragon stamp that brands Clogau jewellery? 

"It’s true that almost every piece of jewellery containing Welsh gold is marked with a dragon stamp. The eye-catching and original stamp helps identify a genuine piece of Clogau gold," he began, before coyly adding: "But there are exceptions to the rule, and wedding bands are usually one of them, as they follow a more traditional and plain design.

"When it comes to the wedding rings of the royal family, it would not be surprising if they did not bear the dragon mark. 

The Princess of Wales wearing her engagement and wedding rings at the traditional Easter Sunday Mattins Service in 2023© Getty
The Princess of Wales wears a "unique" wedding ring alongside Princess Diana's sapphire engagement ring

"Each wedding band worn by the royal family is unique, and personally customised to act as a beautiful reminder of their big day. But this does not take away from the storied history and use of Welsh gold."

Unlike their wedding rings, information about royal engagement rings is much more widely disseminated. For example, Princess Kate famously wears her late mother-in-law Princess Diana's sapphire and diamond ring. The jewellery expert previously told HELLO! that owning a historic royal heirloom such as hers comes with its perks and "challenges."

Princess Eugenie, Princess Beatrice, Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Prince William, Princess Kate, Meghan Markle and Prince Harry © Getty Images
The royal family's association with the jewellery brand goes back long before the Queen Mother's wedding

"Most people don’t know the level of upkeep that wearing an heirloom day-to-day can entail," began Ben. "Even without any alterations, caring for an heirloom of such value comes with its own challenges. Kate and her team will need to employ careful maintenance, with regular inspections and in-depth evaluations, gentle cleaning to restore sheen, and, if necessary, expert repairs to ensure its longevity. 

"That way, she can continue to wear it every day and maintain a constant connection to the past while grounding her in the present as a beloved senior member of the royal family."

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