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Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Prince Edward began dating in 1993. Six years later, the couple announced they were getting married.
The happy news was shared in a statement made by Buckingham Palace in January 1999.
The message read: “The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are delighted to announce the engagement of their youngest son, Prince Edward, to Miss Sophie Rhys-Jones.
“The couple sought the permission of their respective parents between Christmas and the New Year.
“Both families are thrilled at the news. No decision has been taken yet regarding the venue and date for the wedding.
“However, Prince Edward and Miss Rhys-Jones hope that it might be possible to use St George’s Chapel, Windsor in the late spring or summer.”
After the announcement was made, the couple posed for an official photocall at St James’s Palace.
During the appearance, Sophie showed off her engagement ring for the first time.
The Countess will still regularly wear her ring when attending royal engagements.
What is her engagement ring like?
The stunning ring has a two-carat central oval diamond.
The diamond is flanked between two small heart-shaped jewels and set on an 18-carat white gold band.
The eye-catching piece is reportedly worth £110,000 and was bought from Asprey Garrard, now Garrard & Co.
Prince Edward may have been making a nod to Royal Family tradition by buying the ring from the jewellers.
Garrard & Co was the crown jeweller for 160 years producing many pieces for the Royal Family.
The company was appointed as the Official Crown Jewellers by Queen Victoria and held the position until 2007.
Pieces from Garrad have been worn by royals including Princess Diana and Kate Middleton.
Before Sophie’s engagement ring was bought, the jewel made Princess Diana’s famous sapphire and diamond ring.
This ring was given to Kate Middleton by Prince William when he proposed in 2011, as she still regularly wears it.
Garrad also notably created the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara often worn by Queen Elizabeth II.
When Sophie married, she was given a wedding band made from Welsh gold, in line with royal tradition.
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