Following the official announcement of Prince Harry’s engagement to US actress Meghan Markle yesterday (November 27), sources are already speculating that Welsh gold could be used to make the Royal wedding band, continuing a tradition which dates back to 1923.
With the wedding set for Spring next year, if Markle does opt to have her wedding band made of rare Welsh gold, she will be following in the footsteps of many other Royals and Royal brides, after the custom was first started by the Queen Mother in 1923.
Since then, the Queen’s wedding ring in 1947, Princess Margaret’s in 1960, the Princess Royal’s in 1973 and that of Diana, Princess of Wales, in 1981 were all made from one nugget of Welsh gold from the Clogau St David’s mine at Bontddu, Gwynedd.
The Duchess of Cornwall’s wedding ring was also crafted from Welsh gold from the Clogau St David’s mine and the river Mawdach in the King’s Forest.
The Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding ring - a plain, slim gold band - was made by royal warrant holders Wartski and fashioned from a nugget of Welsh gold given to the Duke of Cambridge by his grandmother the Queen as a gift to mark his 2011 wedding.
While there has been no official confirmation that Markle will follow suit, Ben Roberts managing director of Welsh jewellery brand Clogau, which owns the St David’s mine, said that the company would be “delighted” if the custom carried on.
Back in 2011 when it was announced that the Duchess of Cambridge was to have her wedding ring made from rare Welsh gold, Clogau saw a spike in sales of its products.
“The use of Welsh gold in Royal wedding rings is a wonderful tradition dating from 1923,” added Roberts. “The first donation of gold was from the Clogau St David’s mine in 1923 and the second from the Gwynfynydd mine in 1986.
“While we don’t have any confirmation that the wedding rings for Prince Harry and Meghan will be made from Welsh Gold, we would be delighted to see this tradition continue.”