Alex, the creator and editor behind the rapidly growing @duchessmmgrace Instagram account, has been a fan of the British Royal Family for years. When the former Meghan Markle joined the family, Alex’s interest piqued and in early 2019 she created an account dedicated to all things Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. While her earlier posts focused on fashion and tangible ways to support the Sussex family, her more recent posts have showcased historical fashion references and the impact of black designers and fashion trends on Meghan’s current style. Today, we’re thrilled to have Alex share with us the history and importance of the stacked gold rings that the Duchess of Sussex popularized among royal fan watchers. Check out her article below and please follow and support her page for more great articles like this!

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“Meghan’s style is a reflection of her California roots. Upon becoming a duchess we saw her tailor it to fit the rules of being a working royal. One of my favorite trends she adapted to the more conservative culture was stacked rings, or as I grew up knowing it, the four finger ring style.

It was 1989 when Juice Crew hit the scene and Big Daddy Kane turned heads decorated in gold dookie necklaces, four finger rings, and suits. His swag – an essence that demanded respect – was immediately replicated in hip-hop circles. Whether it was LL Cool J wearing his infamous ‘Cool Jay’ ring that highlighted how effortless his swag was; or Bill Nunn’s character, Radio Raheem flashing his LOVE/HATE ring from ‘Do the Right Thing’ – gold was in.

It carried into the 90’s, even as streetwear style began to branch out from Adidas tracksuits to double breasted suits. What were once plates of gold blocking out a row of fingers, became individual rings that carried the same weight as the original conception. It told a story, one of status, wealth, and personal style.

Who led the charge? Ghetto, Black woman.

Ghetto – such a heavy-handed word when spoken with the classic stereotypes in mind. The one that separates beautiful and ghetto, like they’re on opposite ends of the spectrum and not ones to mingle. Because to me? They’re sisters, identical twins, yin and yang.

They’re the root of the fashion trends that show up on the runways, from durags in Dior, or slicked down baby hairs in DKNY’s 2014 show. What was once ghetto, becomes chic, and the trouble with that is, it was already chic, because it was a Black woman who created the trend.

They put a feminine touch on the original design of four finger rings. They began to stack them in shades of gold and sometimes silver. There were different shapes and styles. Some sprinkled with diamonds or colored gems in their bands so they sparkled like brown skin in the sun.

It’s an intricate kind of styling. A voiceless message of bold, beautiful, confidence. Whether a woman’s fingers are stacked, or it’s a scatter of pieces on a few fingers that stitch together a message of elegance – Meghan has done both, beautifully.

Meghan created a wonderful look for her 2018 trip with Prince Harry to their dukedom, Sussex. By choosing the catbird gold thread rings, they perfectly accompanied the striking Missoma Open Heart Signet ring – a stamp ring that’s ‘artful’ amulets and open heart signifies love, friendship and luck.

Sometimes Meghan has gone bolder, like the Goddess Durga ring by Pippa Smalls jewelry. Similar to the Open heart ring, it’s a signet, with a powerful (and I’m assuming) personal statement.

Because the use of accessories could simply be to say – I look amazing – but the subtle message adds a powerful aspect to it.

Pippa Small is a jewelry company that creates art with meaning. Meghan’s Goddess Durga ring is described on the Pippa jewelry website to symbolize: ‘Durga – The goddess who rides the tiger, she is the protectress of the environment and fights injustices and ignorance, a goddess of our time.’

Meghan, fighting injustices and ignorance? Check. A Goddess? Absolutely.

Then there was that one time, at Eugenie’s wedding, Meghan kicked minimalism to the door, and exuded an edgy style of heavily stacked Pippa Small rings from the ‘Herkimer’ collection. The stones aren’t diamonds, but purposefully uncut quartz crystals that were wrapped around a strip of yellow gold. The brilliance behind these pieces is how it all flowed. Oh, and the fact she flipped a stereotypical sentiment bluntly laid out by Carrie from a ‘Sex in the City’ episode when Mr. Big got her a gold engagement ring and she explained, offended by the notion: “Yeah, ghetto gold for fun!”

Ghetto isn’t just fun, it’s classic pieces that have stood the test of time. It’s dainty, but powerful. It’s an understated confidence that leaves people in awe. It is beautiful.

So, when Meghan wore the deep navy Givenchy ensemble so her tan skin, and ghetto gold could shine, she further proved what millions of other Black woman had: ghetto is a class act, and all you need is a pair of yellow gold rings, some diamonds, and brown skin to prove just that.”

-Alex @duchessmmgrace