Over the weekend, Meghan Markle made a public appearance at Trooping the Color, a parade celebrating the queen’s official birthday (apparently, Queen Elizabeth has two birthdays: April 21 is the day she was actually born, but official celebrations occur each year on the second Saturday in June). Markle rode in a carriage alongside husband Prince Harry, clad in a navy dress by Claire Waight Keller for Givenchy—who designed her wedding dress—and a hat by Noel Stewart. It was the Duchess of Sussex’s first official royal outing since the May 6 birth of her son, Archie Harrison.
Markle looked lovely, as per usual. But fans noticed a new accessory. When the duchess was photographed waving to the crowd, eagle-eyed royal watchers noticed that she sported a new ring, in addition to her wedding band and engagement ring. Markle now wears a diamond band, sandwiched between the other two rings. Fans speculated whether the new bling was a push present from Prince Harry.
As it turns out, it’s actually an anniversary present. People reports that the ring is an eternity band from the prince, a gift designed to mark a milestone. The royal couple recently celebrated two: the birth of their son, and their first wedding anniversary on May 19. Eternity bands feature diamonds wrapping the circumference. And Prince Harry isn’t the first royal to give one as a gift—Prince William gave Kate Middleton an eternity band after the birth of their son, Prince George.
Markle’s engagement ring was designed with personal history in mind. It features a large diamond from Botswana—the country where she and Harry first traveled together, and it’s also one of the Prince’s favorite places in the world. The diamond is centered between two smaller stones from the late Princess Diana’s personal collection. It’s a piece of jewelry rife with meaning. The diamonds on the eternity band presumably also include some sort of symbolism. It’s good to be a royal.
A Brief History of Royal Wedding Dresses
Notably, for her wedding to Jack Brooksbank on October 12, 2018, Princess Eugenie chose to wear a dress by Peter Pilotto that specifically showed off the long scar down her back. The scar was from a major back surgery she underwent as a 12 year old, to cure scoliosis. Today, Princess Eugenie is the patron of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, the hospital that did her surgery. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
At her wedding in May 2018, Meghan Markle wore a gown by British designer Clare Waight Keller. Her veil featured embroidery of flora representing all 53 Commonwealth countries, as well as a poppy, the flower of Markle’s home state of California. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Kate Middleton wore a custom gown by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen, made in English and Chantilly lace and satin gazar, for her wedding to Prince William on April 29, 2011. The dress featured roses, lily, and shamrocks and was made using 19-century needlework techniques. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall wore an overcoat and dress designed by Antonia Robinson and Anna Valentine, with shoes by L.K. Bennett, for her wedding to Charles, the Prince of Wales, on April 9, 2005. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images. Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, wore a design by Samantha Shaw, and was able to take of the coat-like layer to reveal and evening gown for revelry after the official ceremony on June 19, 1999.
For wedding to Prince Andrew, Duke of York, on July 23, 1986, Sarah Ferguson wore a dress by Lindka Cierach, which was beaded with heart and anchor symbols. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Princess Diana wore a silk taffeta gown with a 25-foot train, and a 153-yard long veil by David and Elizabeth Emanuel for her wedding to Prince Charles on July 29, 1981. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
For Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips ceremony in 1973, the princess wore a dress designed by Maureen Baker for Susan Small, and featured elegant draped sleeves. It was quite close to the wedding dress trends of the time.
A look at Princess Elizabeth, future Queen Elizabeth II, on her wedding day to Prince Philip on November 20, 1947. The fabric for the wedding dress had to be purchased using ration stamps, as in 1947, the British government was still rationing many products. The designer, Norman Hartnell, embroidered jasmine, lilac, and other flowers on the dress, whose design was said to be inspired by the Botticelli’s Primavera. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.
Inspired by the drop waist style ushered in by Coco Chanel, the embroidered gown was created by Queen Mary’s court dressmaker, Madame Handley Seymour, for Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon for her wedding to the Duke of York (and later George VI) on April 26, 1923. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.