Flashback: JFK and Jackie’s 59th Engagement Anniversary

Photo: RolexMagazine.com/DiamondSourceVA.com Photo: RolexMagazine.com/DiamondSourceVA.com

Before Will and Kate, America was feverish for JFK and Jackie. On this day in 1953, the Massachusetts senator proposed to his socialite girlfriend with a stunning emerald-and-diamond ring. Seven years later, the golden couple would become the youngest (and arguably the most stylish) president and first lady to grace the White House. In honor of their 59th engagement anniversary, here’s a quick run-down on their whirlwind romance:

How they met: Before reigning as king and queen of Camelot, Jackie worked as a photographer and columnist for the Washington Times Herald, while JFK was a fast-rising political star on Capitol Hill. On May 8, 1951, the two were introduced by a mutual friend at a Georgetown dinner party. “I leaned across the asparagus and asked her for a date,” Kennedy reportedly said.

How they got engaged: After two years of dating, JFK proposed to Jackie on June 24, 1953 with a Van Cleef and Arpels ring that consisted of a 2.88-carat diamond mounted next to a 2.84-carat emerald with tapered baguettes, according to the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. In 1962, the ring was reset to include 2.44 carats worth of round and marquis accent diamonds.

> Get the scoop on political weddings and engagements

> See 100+ dazzling engagement ring photos