Princess Margaret's 'timeless' engagement ring has an untraditional history, says her granddaughter - but wait until you see how many royal rings it inspired

Princess Margaret's engagement ring is 'timeless' and its origin is as untraditional as she was, reveals her granddaughter Lady Margarita

Princess Margaret and Antony Armstrong-Jones stand February 27, 1960 in the grounds of Royal Lodge on the day they announced their engagement. Buckingham Palace announced that Princess Margaret died peacefully in her sleep at 1:30AM EST at the King Edward VII Hospital February 9, 2002 in London.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Princess Margaret's engagement ring was just as much of a rule breaker and trendsetter as she was. As her only granddaughter Lady Margarita Armstrong Jones discusses the 'timeless' piece and its origin story - let's take a look at the royal rings that have emulated its style.

Princess Margaret (1930 - 2002) and her husband Lord Snowdon (1930 - 2017) keep warm with a rug in the back seat of a car, circa 1962.

(Image credit: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Princess Margaret's granddaughter's modeling debut revealed plenty about not only the young lady herself - but her late grandmother too. Though much has been written of Princess Margaret's romances, the untraditional royal's royal rock has been relatively mysterious. 

Speaking to Tatler, in her very first cover shoot, Princess Margaret's granddaughter Lady Margarita Armstrong-Jones discussed Princess Margaret's engagement ring and its less-than-traditional history.

Lady Margarita has an artistic flare, as evidenced by her chosen studies, photography and jewelry, at the Haute École de Joaillerie in Paris. Her talents, some may say, are very much inherited from her grandparents.

Princess Margaret (1930 - 2002), Lord Snowdon, Sarah and Linley leaving Kensington Palace for a christening ceremony.

(Image credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Her late grandfather the Earl of Snowdon, Anthony Armstrong-Jones, also known as Tony, was a very gifted photographer but did you know he also designed and made jewelry? Amazingly, he even made Princess Margaret's engagement ring.

Considering Princess Margaret's extravagant lifestyle, the romantic and artsy origin of this ring may be surprising to some - but the stunning piece is just as high-end as you'd expect. Per Tatler, the piece was a, "pink-red ruby stone surrounded by diamonds-as-petals to look like a rosebud, the ring was a nod to Rose, her middle name." 

Lady Margarita explained that the piece was, "very simple and very small and I think that’s probably what he wanted, nothing crazy and overstated. It’s timeless."

Since it was created, it's become a popular style among other royal ladies, including Sarah Ferguson - who received a very similar piece from her now ex-husband Prince Andrew. Prince Andrew proposed to Sarah Ferguson with a stunning Burmese ruby engagement in March 1986.

A close up of the hands of Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson after the announcement of their engagement at Buckingham Palace, London, 17th March 1986. Ferguson's white and yellow gold engagement ring features a Burma ruby, surrounded by ten drop-diamonds.

(Image credit: Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

Sarah Ferguson's engagement ring features a huge Burmese ruby, surrounded by 10 sparkling diamonds. The stones form a flower pattern, which is also known as a cluster ring.

Only last year, Sarah Ferguson called her marriage to Prince Andrew a 'fairytale' but this fairytale didn't have quite the happy ending as she split from the controversial Prince back in 1996.

Subsequently, their second daughter Princess Eugenie's engagement ring emulated the style. Princess Eugenie's engagement to her boyfriend of seven years, Jack Brooksbank, was announced in 2018. Royal watchers instantly noticed it looked a lot like her mother's ring.

The stunning piece features a light pink, padparadscha sapphire, surrounded by diamonds. The dusky pink sapphire, which is one of the rarest of sapphires, generally hails from Sri Lanka, and usually costs around several thousand pounds.

Princess Eugenie wears a ring containing a padparadscha sapphire surrounded by diamonds as she poses with Jack Brooksbank in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace after they announced their engagement. Princess Eugenie wears a dress by Erdem, shoes by Jimmy Choo and a ring containing a padparadscha sapphire surrounded by diamonds on January 22, 2018 in London, England.. They are to marry at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle in the autumn this year.

(Image credit: Jonathan Brady - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Per town&country, when Jack was asked about the story behind the ring on a TV appearance, he shared, "I went and found an amazing padparadscha sapphire but then didn't want to do anything until Eugenie had signed off on it."

Back in 2006, years after her death in 2002, her children made the difficult decision to auction some of her jewelry to help cover the taxes on her estate - but her engagement ring was not for sale.

The auction, at the legendary Christie's, made a remarkable $11,718,431 (£9,598,160).

It's unclear who has possession of Princess Margaret's engagement ring now, but it's believed that one of her children owns it. Perhaps one day, it may even adorn her granddaughter's ring finger. Only time will tell!

Aoife Hanna
Junior News Editor

Aoife is an Irish journalist and writer with a background in creative writing, comedy, and TV production.

Formerly woman&home's junior news editor and a contributing writer at Bustle, her words can be found in the Metro, Huffpost, Delicious, Imperica and EVOKE.

Her poetry features in the Queer Life, Queer Love anthology.

Outside of work you might bump into her at a garden center, charity shop, yoga studio, lifting heavy weights, or (most likely) supping/eating some sort of delicious drink/meal.