When it comes to flaunting shining, glittering things, it’s safe to say that the Queen of England herself, Elizabeth II, has the procedure down pat. After all, how many people in the world can say that they’ve worn a genuine tiara, anyway?

Now, the Queen has plenty of priceless jewels at her disposal, but there is one that she holds particularly close to her heart—her engagement ring.

The story of Queen Elizabeth II’s engagement ring really is a sweet one—although, we do have to warn you that it does serve as a reminder that she and her husband are, in fact, THIRD COUSINS.

But just because the Royals both have Queen Victoria as a great-great-grandmother doesn’t mean that the engagement ring isn’t any less dazzling. Just put that icky factoid to the back of your brain for the time being and enjoy this mini history lesson….

The tale begins with a young Prince Philip struggling to come up with an engagement ring that would be fit for his fiancée, the future Queen of England.

Now, Prince Philip is part of the royal bloodline—he was the grandson of Greece’s king—but that didn’t mean that coming up with an appropriate piece of jewelry was simple for him. You see, his family had been in exile since he was an infant, a situation that did not make him a particularly wealthy man.

Lucky for him, his mother, Princess Alice, donated one of her diamond tiaras, as well as a diamond bracelet, to her son’s cause in hopes that the pieces could be re-purposed into her future daughter-in-law’s bling.

The tiara itself had quite the rich history; it had been gifted to Princess Alice on her wedding day by none other than Tsar Nicholas II and Tsarina Alexandra of Russia. It was an important keepsake for the family, but it was also one that took on a whole new purpose when it was upcycled, so to speak, into its now-legendary form by a trusted jeweler.

These days, the royal still dons the ring every chance that she gets—or at least every chance that she gets when she’s not wearing her signature white gloves, of course.

Now, just because the Queen wears such a blingy diamond doesn’t mean that the younger generation of royals has decided to follow in her footsteps. For example, her grandson, Prince William, gave Kate Middleton his late mom’s wedding ring when he popped the question. Diana had actually selected that sapphire ring from a catalog! To each his own…

To learn even more about this historic piece of jewelry AND see some seriously dreamy vintage photos of the royal couple, be sure to watch the video below. We absolutely love that the Queen wears this ring with so much pride!

We can’t wait to hear what you have to say about the Queen’s enviable engagement ring! Are you a fan of Elizabeth II’s ring? Did you know that she and Prince Phillip are cousins? Is there an interesting story behind either your engagement ring or wedding ring?