Brooke Shields shares the meaningful story behind her favorite piece of heirloom jewelry.

By Brooke Shields
Updated Jul 18, 2018 @ 9:00 am
InStyle August - Brooke Shields - Lead
Credit: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

My father, Francis, wore his signet ring everywhere. He was 6 foot 7, and I remember, as a kid, looking up at his pinkie to admire our family crest. The ring was meaningful to him because it was a gift from his mother, who was a princess in Italy. She passed away when he was quite young, so it became a connection to his lineage.

InStyle August - Brooke Shields - Embed - 1
Credit: Courtesy Brooke Shields

He kept it on until his health took a turn for the worse in 2003. I was about to give birth to my first daughter when he passed away. When I went into labor a few weeks later, I asked my stepsister to bring my dad's ring to me in the hospital. It still had soap inside it from the last time he wore it. I wasn't allowed to put it on my finger because I was going into surgery, but the loveliest nurse found a chain so that I could have it around my neck (it was still against the rules, but she said it was our little secret). I was so comforted because it was as if he were in the room with me.

InStyle August - Brooke Shields - Embed - 2
Credit: Brian Henn

My daughter was born on May 15, the day before my dad's birthday. We named her Rowan Francis in honor of him. I still wear the ring often and think about my dad every time I do. I love its role in our family history.

—As told to Jennifer Ferrise

Shields is the designer of Brooke Shields Timeless, available on QVC. For more stories like this, pick up the August issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now.