When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex married at Windsor Castle’s St. George’s Chapel, many eyes were on the couple’s left ring fingers.
Details about the rings were revealed by Kensington Palace on Saturday morning ahead of the royal wedding. The rings, both made by Cleave and Company, were a band of Welsh gold for Markle and a platinum band for Prince Harry.
And unlike his brother, Prince Harry, Prince Harry has also chosen to wear a ring of his own following their May 19 royal wedding ceremony at St. George’s Chapel in Windsor. Both Harry and Meghan will be exchanging rings at their ceremony, according to the royal wedding order of service that Kensington Palace released Friday.
Does Prince Harry have a wedding ring?
He does now. After Harry and Meghan exchanged their vows, then came “the giving of the rings” to symbolize their “unending love and faithfulness.” Markle’s was first up. Harry placed her ring on her finger, and then Markle turned to Harry to do the same for him. It’s not the first time they’ve marked their love with accessories. The pair is known for wearing matching beaded bracelets.
Interestingly, when it comes to princes and rings, there is no official royal tradition in place. His brother Prince William doesn’t wear a wedding band and never has since getting married; his father Prince Charles wore one while married to Princess Diana, and now wears one on his pinky finger; and his grandfather Prince Philip has always skipped one altogether. It seems to be a matter of preference, not a matter of ritual, across British society.
What’s the history behind Meghan Markle’s wedding ring?
The family’s history can be instructive on this point: as it turns out, there’s a strong Windsor tradition of brides in Welsh gold wedding bands, going back to Prince Harry’s great-grandmother the Queen Mother in the early 1920s. All the ensuing royal brides — including Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, Prince Charles’s wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Diana, Queen Elizabeth II herself and all the related princesses — wear bands of Welsh gold. Originally, the Queen Mother was in possession of a nugget from a certain Clogau St. David’s Gold Mine which was used for many of the rings, but that supply has been depleted over the years. Another bit of Welsh gold was gifted to the royal family in the 1980s for subsequent bands. Gold mining is still defunct in Wales for now, making the metal increasingly precious, too.
What’s the story behind her engagement ring again?
As for her engagement ring, Markle’s piece was made by court jewelers Cleave and Company designed by Harry himself with a yellow gold band — Markle’s favorite — featuring a central stone sourced from Botswana, where he has spent a fair bit of time, and where he brought Markle to visit not long after they’d met. The two accompanying diamonds were once part of the collection of Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, and are there “to make sure that she’s with us on this crazy journey together,” as he explained to the BBC.