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Princess Eugenie's ring: Here's why royal wedding bands are always made from Welsh gold

The i logo The i 11/10/2018 David Hughes
a hand holding an object in his hand © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Princess Eugenie's wedding to Jack Brooksbank is almost upon us, with the couple tying the knot at St George's Chapel later this week.

As is the norm with royal nuptials, no official details about the princess's wedding ring have been released ahead of the big day.

However, it seems highly likely that Eugenie's band will be made from Welsh gold, following a long-standing convention of royal weddings - here's how the tradition developed.


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Why is Welsh gold used for Royal Wedding rings?

It all dates back almost a century to the marriage of the Queen's mother, then Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, and the future King George VI.

Her band was made from 24-carat gold following a gift to the royal family from the Clogau St David mine in North Wales.

There was enough left from that single nugget to fashion the gold bands for the Queen's wedding in 1947, Princess Margaret in 1960, Princess Anne in 1973 and Diana, Princess of Wales in 1981.

Although the original supply has reportedly all but run out, the practice has continued. The Royal British Legion made a subsequent donation of Welsh gold in 1981, and there was a further gift from the Gwynfynydd mine for the Queen's 60th birthday in 1986.

It is thought that these have helped to supplement the royal hoard of Welsh gold to produce the bands for Princess Eugenie's mother Sarah, Duchess of York and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

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Both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle continued the royal tradition, with Kensington Palace confirming that the Welsh gold for each of their bands was gifted by the queen.

However, the two most recent royal grooms broke from the norm - Prince Harry opted for platinum, while William chose not to wear a ring at all.

The final gold mine in Wales closed in 1998, which makes the metal particularly rare, driving up its price.

Minerals expert Dr Mike Bassett described it to the BBC as an "emperor's new clothes" phenomenon , saying the metal is "visually and very nearly chemically indistinguishable" from other gold.

When is Princess Eugenie marrying Jack Brooksbank?

Princess Eugenie and her fiancé Jack Brooksbank will get married on Friday 12 October in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, the same location of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's ceremony.

Brooksbank is the wine merchant son of Nicola and George Brooksbank, and attended the independent Stowe School in Buckinghamshire.  The couple met while skiing near the Swiss resort of Verbier around seven years ago.

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The wedding will be screened live on television, but by ITV rather than the BBC, with This Morning hosting a three-hour royal wedding special live from Windsor from 9.25am.

More than 800 guests are expected to join the couple in the 15th century Gothic chapel as they tie the knot, with Princess Charlotte and Prince George among six bridesmaids and two page boys.

Famous faces among the guests are expected to include singers Robbie Williams, Ed Sheeran and Ellie Goulding, model Cara Delevingne, and the children of Sir Richard Branson, Holly and Sam.

Watch: "Princess Eugenie's Wedding: George, Charlotte and Robbie Williams's daughter take starring roles" [Evening Standard]


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