4 OCTOBER 2007

After the royal palace in Copenhagen announced the engagement between Prince Joachim of Denmark and his French girlfriend Marie Cavallier, royal watchers eagerly awaited a glimpse of the ring with which Queen Margrethe's younger son plighted his troth.

They were rewarded at a press conference later the same day, when a radiant Marie showed off a unique tricolour design featuring red, white and blue stones.

The ruby, diamond and sapphire sparkler chosen by the groom is a nod to the future princess' French heritage and reflects the colours of her homeland's flag. Apparently romantic Joachim went down on one knee to propose during the couple's summer break in Turkey, after having purchased it in France. "It was a complete surprise to me," revealed the 31-year-old businesswoman.

There was a further opportunity for the new bride-to-be to show off the stunning gems when she and her betrothed joined both sets of parents in a family photo to mark the occasion. With them were Prince Joachim's sons, five-year-old Felix and Nikolai, eight.

The couple are set to marry next spring, when Marie will become a Danish citizen and exchange her Roman Catholic faith for membership of the Lutheran Church. Following the nuptials she will be known as Her Royal Highness Princess Marie.

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Royal watchers didn't have to wait long to check out the ring, a unique tricolour engagement band whose ruby, diamond and sapphire combination is a nod to Marie's French heritage Photo: © Getty Images
Photo: ©
"It is a very big and happy day in our lives," Prince Joachim said yesterday, before proudly kissing his beautiful bride-to-be as they announced their engagement to the world Photo: © AFP
Photo: ©
The young couple pose with their families in an official photograph to mark the occasion. Joining them are Joachim's sons, Felix and Nikolai, from his previous marriage Photo: © AFP