I am wearing my grandmother’s ring as I write this. It is an amethyst, cloudy with age and with scratches on the stone, but to me it has always been imbued with magic.
As a child I thought it was the size of an egg. My grandmother never, ever took it off, so I knew it had to be important. Years later I learnt that my grandfather had wanted to gift her something special, and from him.
I never saw her wear an engagement ring. Perhaps she didn’t like it. Perhaps it was lost. Or perhaps, when they married in the midst of the economic depression of the 1930s, they simply didn’t buy one.
My grandmother died when I was 13, and the ring passed to my mother. Two years later the house was burgled and, along with everything else in my mother’s jewellery box, the ring was stolen.
Glittering tribute: The tiara as worn by the Princess of Wales
Or so we thought. Years later when my parents moved, my mother found the ring wedged down the back of the box. It was the only thing the burglars had missed.
She took it to a jeweller to have it re-set, and last year, knowing how much I’d always adored it, she gifted to me.
I thought about this ring the other day when I saw the Princess of Wales at the state banquet at Buckingham Palace wearing the stunning Strathmore Rose tiara.
Bought in 1923 for the Queen Mother’s wedding, it was a gift from her father, the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne, who wanted his daughter to have something special, and from him, when she joined the Royal Family.
And so, a century after it was first worn by her husband’s great-grandmother, and almost 90 years since it