A Certain (Vintage) Ring To It…

November 24, 2010  

There’s been much ado about Prince William giving Kate Middleton his mothers engagement ring and as someone who has also inherited a family heirloom, I have read people’s opinions and articles on the matter with interest.

There seems to be two schools of thinking. Those who believe this is an insult to Kate, that the gesture is somewhat ‘creepy’ and perhaps Diana’s ring will curse their marriage – and those who find it sweet and sentimental that William should want a part of his late mother to be with Kate, in their marriage. I fall into the latter category.

My beautiful engagement ring wasn’t given to me by my fiance directly, but was sent over to us from my Grandmother in New Zealand and it has it’s own story to tell…

Created in England, back in the 1920′s for my ‘other’ Grandma Doreen, my Grandpa returned to New Zealand with it where they married and later adopted their much wanted and longed for son, my Dad. A short-lived happy ending; for the cancer that had prevented Doreen from bringing Dad into the world herself, stole her away six years later and both my Dad and Grandpa were left heart-broken.

The ring was then briefly put on the hand of another lady, who’s time with it was again short-lived…but this had more to do with her temperament than the ring somehow dooming the marriage to fail.

For many years the ring was to sit in a jewellery box, with no one to claim, or enjoy it…until one day my Grandpa was to bump into another English lady. Stood in the queue at the butchers, he took a shine to her racy car parked outside and she took a shine to his cheeky charm…and the rest, as they say is history.

My Grandpa was only around for the first seven years of my life, but I remember our holiday’s spent in N.Z at his and Grandma Joy’s so vividly. They were fun…but most of all safe, secure and full of love. Theirs was a modern love story. A third marriage, but full of as much warmth, humility and expectation as the first…

When Grandpa passed, there could have easily been a fracture in our N.Z family…the distance alone makes visits hard and expensive. But 21 years later I am so proud to say that Grandma Joy is still an integral part of my life and (with the exception of my Mum) the biggest female influence I’ve had.

We write to each other, every other week and our very modern family connection is sustained in the most traditional and romantic way. Like a Jane Austin heroine, I excitedly race to the door whenever I see an envelope bearing her beautiful writing and sit with a cuppa, giggling…and sometimes welling up as she writes of her day-to-day life on the other side of the world…

Three years ago I had the honour of introducing her to my beloved and it was such a wonderful moment. Two loves of my life meeting on the other side of the world. It’s Grandma’s Birthday this week and as I type I can see her diamond ring catching the light. It makes me think of her and her kind hands. Sometimes my mind turns to Grandma Doreen…and my Grandpa…and the fleeting love-story they shared and how they are once again united.

This gives life to my ring. And I can’t wait to add to it’s story with our own happy marriage.


5 Responses to “A Certain (Vintage) Ring To It…”
  1. Margaret Ivory says:

    So touching! My grandfather’s first wife died in childbirth and his second wife, my grandmother raised his daughter or as she called my aunt “my first baby”.

    For the next 20 years, they had 10 other children before his untimely death to cancer.

    My grandmother wore her platinum wedding band for the next 60 or so years…she died at 102 years old.

  2. London Wedding Photo says:

    Go the royals!

  3. admin says:

    Indeed! Thanks David – love your site!

  4. Perdita says:

    Such a touching story.

    My husband’s mum, who I knew well, sadly passed away a few years back. Like you and Kate, I an honoured and proud to wear the ‘family’ engagement ring as my own.


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