22 February 2013

Flashback Friday: Scandinavian Engagement Rings

Next up in our mini-series on royal engagement rings we're heading north to our Scandinavian friends and their mix of sentimental and patriotic rings. Sweden, Norway, and Denmark here we come!

Queen Silvia of Sweden
Silvia Sommerlath's engagement ring is a simple ring, probably more like what many of us (particularly those most familiar with the American tradition) might expect from an e-ring. It's a single solitaire diamond, estimated by some to be in the neighborhood of two carats, and is said to have belonged to King Carl Gustaf's mother Princess Sibylla - she died a few years before the couple's engagement. Silvia now wears the ring with others on the same finger, including a ruby ring.

Crown Princess Victoria of Sweden
Victoria's ring, reportedly from court jeweler W.A. Bolin, is much like her mother's - so similar, in fact, that some wondered in the days after the engagement if it actually was Silvia's. (It isn't.) Victoria paired the classic ring with her diamond wedding band, but lately she hasn't worn much of either ring.

Princess Madeleine of Sweden
Madeleine has been the (at least partially unlucky, I suppose) recipient of two engagement rings in recent years. Her first, from Jonas Bergström in 2009, was a rectangular diamond set horizontally - but of course that engagement was broken following rumors of cheating on Jonas' part. In 2012 her engagement to Christopher O'Neill was announced, and the official photos gave us a glimpse of another sparkling diamond. This one appears to be an Asscher cut diamond on a diamond band, and it automatically jumped up on my list of favorite royal e-rings. Oh yes, I'd wear one exactly like this in a heartbeat.

Crown Princess Märtha, Queen Sonja, and Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway
Crown Prince Harald of Norway gave Sonja Haraldsen an interesting diamond and ruby ring that belonged to his late mother, Crown Princess Märtha. Sonja carried on the tradition, giving the ring to her son Haakon when he proposed to Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby. Mette-Marit wears it occasionally these days; she is more consistently spotted in a three stone diamond ring usually said to have been a gift from her husband.

Princess Märtha Louise of Norway
Märtha Louise's ring seems a bit unconventional to traditional tastes, but that's pretty fitting for the princess herself. The white gold ring studded with diamonds forming lilies was designed by fiancé Ari Behn's grandfather, Andreas Solberg. Ari has one too, but Märtha's includes two additional tiny ruby hearts.

Queen Margrethe of Denmark
This Van Cleef & Arpels ring features two entwined large diamonds - unusual and a bit over the top, just like its wearer Queen Margrethe, and well chosen by her equally interesting husband, Prince Henrik.

Crown Princess Mary of Denmark
Mary Donaldson's engagement ring from Crown Prince Frederik is in the colors of the Danish flag: an emerald cut diamond flanked by emerald cut rubies. She wore it like that, alongside her diamond wedding band, for several years; and then, in early 2012, she upgraded. The ring now includes an extra diamond on either side of the rubies (the bottom close up, above), which I think makes it look a little more complete. A lovely design change.

Alexandra, Countess of Frederiksborg
Flag rings run in the family, apparently. Frederik's brother Prince Joachim presented his first wife, Alexandra Manley, with a faceted center diamond with a cabochon ruby on either side, set in 18 carat gold. Joachim and Alexandra are now married to other people, of course, and Alexandra has a diamond ring surrounded by diamond bands from her second husband, Martin Jørgensen.

Princess Marie of Denmark
Joachim wasn't done giving flag rings, though. His second wife, Marie Cavallier, received a literal interpretation of the flag of her home country, France: one sapphire, one diamond, and one ruby on an intricate wide gold band from Mette Rosgaard (who frequently uses the giraffe-like pattern of the band). Marie does not wear it all the time, but she does use it. It is, by far, my least favorite royal engagement ring...sometimes the inspiration is just a touch too literal.

Which one is your favorite?

Photos: Getty Images/Scanpix/Kungahuset/Corbis/Reuters /BilledBladet/Sipa Press