Queen Mother had her engagement ring swapped despite 'rare and highly prized' stone

Like her daughter Her Majesty the Queen, the Queen Mother had an extensive jewellery collection which she showed off when she attended royal engagements and parties. Her engagement ring and wedding ring were also seen on her finger, but there is a little-known story behind the former.

Born Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the Queen Mother got engaged to Prince Albert, or the future King George VI, in 1923.

However, this wasn’t the first time the young Prince had proposed to Elizabeth – she had reportedly turned him down three times.

The first time was as early as 1921, but, according to Elizabeth’s biographer, John Ezard, she turned him down because she felt “afraid never, never again to be free to think, speak and act as I feel I really ought to”.

Albert is reported to have proposed a second time when Elizabeth was a bridesmaid at the wedding of Princess Mary to Henry, Viscount Lascelles at Westminster Abbey.

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This made Elizabeth’s ring highly valuable.

Despite this, she decided to alter the jewel a few years later.

It is not understood why Elizabeth wanted another ring, bit she was seen wearing a completely new design as early as 1946.

In a photograph where she is posing with her daughters, Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret, the Queen Mother has a ring with a large pearl at its centre on her hand.

The pearl is surrounded by tiny diamonds, much in the same design as Kate Middleton’s engagement ring – but a pearl instead of a blue sapphire.

The Queen Mother was photographed wearing this second engagement ring on multiple occasions throughout her life.

She wasn’t seen wearing her wedding ring very often, but this was a simple band made from Welsh gold – as is tradition among members of the Royal Family.

The gold is mined from the Clogau mine in Dolgellau, North Wales.

Elizabeth and Albert wed on April 26, 1923, in Westminster Abbey.

Elizabeth became Her Royal Highness the Duchess of York, while her husband was the Duke of York, before becoming King when his brother abdicated the throne in 1936.

The Queen Mother wore a 1920s style ivory dress for her big day, embroidered with pearls and silver thread.

She chose not to wear a tiara, opting for a modern floral headpiece instead.

Other accessories included three necklaces of varying length.

source: express.co.uk