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Has the Duchess of Sussex redesigned her engagement ring?

Sarah Royce-Greensill

Earlier this month, the Duchess of Sussex made her first public appearance following the birth of her son Archie, appearing alongside the Duke of Sussex, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and other members of the Royal Family at Trooping the Colour, the Queen’s annual birthday parade.

She turned to Claire Waight Keller, the Givenchy creative director who designed her wedding dress, to create a chic navy coat and dress for the occasion, which she accessorised with matching bag, hat, and elbow-length leather gloves.

But it was when those gloves came off that royal watchers were given a glimpse of the latest addition to her jewellery collection: a delicate diamond-set eternity ring, worn beneath her wedding and engagement rings.

The Duchess of Sussex's engagement ring appears to have a slimmer, diamond-set band, to complement her new diamond eternity ring

The pavé-set band, which was reportedly made by the Queen’s private jeweller Harry Collins, may well have been a gift from the Duke of Sussex following the birth of Archie.

‘Push presents’, as Meghan’s American friends most likely refer to them, are commonly given after the birth of a child on both sides of the Atlantic. The Duchess of Cambridge wears a similar diamond-set eternity band, which was a gift from the Duke of Cambridge after Prince George was born.

And on closer inspection, it appears that Meghan has made a subtle tweak to her engagement ring to complement the sparkling new addition. The band of the ring, which was previously plain yellow gold, now appears thinner and pavé-set with diamonds. Sandwiched between this restyled ring and the new eternity band is her wedding band which, following royal tradition, was fashioned from Welsh yellow gold.

The Duchess of Sussex at a garden party at Buckingham Palace in May 2018. Originally, her engagement ring had a band of plain yellow gold Credit: Dominic Lipinski/Pool via Reuters/File Photo

The restyling comes just over 18 months after Meghan first received her engagement ring in November 2017. It was made by court jewellers Cleave and Company and designed by Prince Harry, incorporating a cushion-cut diamond from Botswana, a country close to the couple’s hearts, which is flanked by two diamonds taken from jewellery that belonged to Princess Diana.

In the televised interview the couple gave on their engagement, Harry revealed that a lot of thought had gone into the design of the ring.

The Duchess of Sussex's engagement ring originally featured a plain gold band (left) - it is now mounted on a band of pavé-set diamonds to complement her new eternity band (right)

“It’s obviously yellow gold because that’s [Meghan’s] favourite,” said Harry in the interview, adding that the side diamonds “are from my mother’s jewellery collection to make sure that she’s with us on this crazy journey together”.

Despite describing the ring during that interview as “perfect”, it appears that Meghan later had second thoughts about her husband’s choice.

Prince Harry originally designed the ring using diamonds from Princess Diana's collection Credit: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images

The new band is daintier, and therefore more suitable for stacking - in line with much of the jewellery the Duchess likes to wear - as well as being a touch more glamorous, set with diamonds around its whole circumference. Its slimmer style makes the three diamonds, which traditionally represent a couple’s past, present and future, seem larger.

“A plain gold band is more in keeping with a vintage-style ring, so the pavé-set band modernises the ring a little,” says Annabel Davidson, jewellery editor at Vanity Fair and Telegraph Luxury's jewellery expert. “I wonder if there was a reason for changing it - perhaps the gold band was getting scratched, or maybe she felt the gold was too much of a contrast with the white diamonds.”

Restyling an engagement ring after less than two years will no doubt be seen as a controversial move by the Duchess, and there are many women who would never dream of altering a piece of jewellery they’d been given. But having jewellery restyled is becoming increasingly popular as women seek to personalise their precious gems.

“Plenty of brides do change their rings throughout the years, getting them reset, resized, upgraded even - so it's really not that unusual,” says Davidson.

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