Famous People Who Wore Claddagh Rings
Famous throughout the world, the Irish Claddagh ring has been given and worn by millions as a token of, ‘love, friendship and loyalty’. Given, the popularity of the Claddagh ring, it is no surprise that the ring has adorned the hands of many famous celebrities throughout the years. In no particular order, we present some of the more famous wearers of a Claddagh ring.
The actress from the sitcom Friends and her boyfriend Tate Donovan exchanged Claddagh rings on the first anniversary of their relationship. The couple met in 1995 after been introduced by a mutual friend. The relationship almost never got off the ground as Tate was wary of dating another celebrity having previously dated Sandra Bullock.
“Literally, our second date, there were video cameras everywhere, and I was like, ‘I’m out of here,'” he told People magazine at the time. A month after that date, they split up and a month later they were back together. and the two exchanged the Irish commitment rings on their first anniversary.
Walt Disney was proud or his Irish roots and proudly wore his Claddagh Ring. The image above is of his wax works figure at Madame Tussauds, Orlando. This ring was one of only two pieces of jewelry that Disney wore, the other being his wedding ring which he wore on the other hand. The name Disney is an anglicisation of the name d’Isigny, and arrived in Ireland with the Norman invasion of the 11th century. Disney’s grandfather was born in Kilkenny in the 1830s, shortly before his family emigrated to Canada and eventually settled in the Midwest.
Disney visited the land of his forefathers on more than one occasion, most notably for the Dublin premiere of Darby O’Gill and The Little People in 1959, which starred Albert Sharpe, Janet Munro, Sean Connery, and Jimmy O’Dea. In a letter to his sister Ruth, Disney wrote of his visit, “the Irishers presented me with a pony which they shipped over here. The little fellow —who, incidentally, was named ‘Darby O’Gill’—is being broken and fattened up and will eventually make a marvelous pony for the grandchildren.”
As far as we know the Kardashian Clan do not hail from the Emerald Isle. That did not stop Kim’s new husband Kanye West purchasing a Claddagh ring for her during their visit Ireland in 2014 as memento of their visit. The A-list couple flew to Ireland under the radar for a secret honeymoon after their wedding in Italy. The newlyweds stayed at the exclusive, five-star Castlemartyr hotel. At the time, Kim told her followers on Twitter: “We spent Kanye’s bday in Ireland a few years back & fell in love with it!””Its such a calming relaxing place!”
Kim’s mum Kris Jenner also chose the Emerald Isle for her honeymoon after marrying Bruce Jenner in 1991.
Sarah Michelle Gellar
We remember well when Buffy was presented with a Claddagh ring by her boyfriend Angel. Sales of silver Claddagh rings on our website went crazy for no apparent reason. For those of you under the age of twenty, Buffy The Vampire Slayer was a really big deal back then. So much so, that we dedicated a blog post to the subject of the Buffy ring.
The famous frontman from 1960’s rock band The Doors was well known to wear a Claddagh ring. In a Celtic inspired pagan wedding ceremony, he exchanged Claddagh rings with his partner Patricia Kennealy. The ceremony even made it into Oliver Stone’s 1991 bio-pic on the singer’s turbulent life.
Mia Farrow is not shy of her Irish roots and is often seen wearing a traditional Claddagh ring. Mia is the daughter of famous actress Maureen O’Sullivan, who hails from the town of Boyle in County Roscommon. Maureen is best known for her role as Jane in the Original Tarzan movies from the 1930’s and 40’s. Mia has had a successful acting career, starring in such movies as Rosemary’s Baby and a series of 1980’s movies produced by her then husband Woody Allen, including Hanna and Her Sisters and Alice.
President Kennedy relished his Irish heritage, and during his historic visit to Ireland said to the people of Limerick, “This is not the land of my birth but it is the land for which I hold the greatest affection.” With all eight of his grand grandparents hailing from Ireland, his affections were not misplaced. JFK and his Jackie purchased Claddagh rings while in Galway during their state visit to Ireland in 1963. On leaving Galway, The President remarked, “You send us home covered with gifts, which we can barely carry, but most of all you send us home with the warmest memories of you and your country.”
US presidents Ronald Regan and Bill Clinton were also presented with Claddagh Rings during their visits to Ireland. Princess Grace and Prince Rainier of Monaco were presented with Claddagh jewelry on their visit to Ireland, in the form of a Claddagh brooch and a set of Claddagh cufflinks rather than traditional Claddagh rings. Grace Kelly’s grandfather, John Peter Kelly, emigrated from County Mayo in 1887 and settled in Philadelphia. In this article, we explore the myth of a more unusual royal connection to the Claddagh ring.
Daniel Day Lewis
Actor Daniel Day Lewis may have been born and raised an Englishman, but makes no secret of his devotion to his adopted home of Ireland. For the last twenty years the actor has called the county of Wicklow his home. This is what he has to say of his Irish home, “When the work is done, it’s to this place that I return to as a refuge. It’s a place where I feel the freedom to lie fallow if I need to for a period of time.” Lewis even took out Irish citizenship in 1993.
The celebrated actor has been attracted to roles featuring Irishmen. He played Christy Brown in My Left Foot, Gerry Conlon of the Guildford Four in the film In the Name of the Father, and Irish-America gangster Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York.
Lewis is rumored to have had a brief romance with Julia Roberts and is said to have gifted her a Claddagh ring. True or not, Roberts was seen wearing a Claddagh ring around the time of the romance.
Another Hollywood couple with Claddagh connection are Jude Law and Sienna Miller. During their tumultuous relationship, Law gifted a Claddagh ring to Miller. When the couple finally broke up in 2006, a heart-broken Sienna continued to wear the ring with the heart facing inwards.
Sorry ladies, Gabriel Byrne is off the menu. Judging by the direction of the heart of the Claddagh ring, this famous Irish actor’s heart definitely belongs to someone. The Dublin-born actor began his acting career on the stage in both Dublin and London before moving stateside. Byrne has enjoyed a successful career, starring in films like Excalibur, Into The West, Miller’s Crossing and Usual Suspects. He was also nominated for two Oscars for his production credits in acclaimed movies, In The Name of The Father and Into The West.
The proud Dubliner is less well known for his role as an Irish cultural ambassador and audio book narrator.
Although born and raised in the UK, presenter and Big Brother host Dermot O’Leary is a died-in-the-wool Irish man. His Claddagh ring was given to him by his mother and although he does not wear the ring on his finger, has it with him at all times a reminder of who he is and where his family comes from.
Just because your are not a celebrity does not mean you can’t celebrate your Irish roots with a piece of Claddagh jewelry. Explore our full range of Claddagh rings and Claddagh jewelry in our shop and help keep the Claddagh tradition of Love, Friendship and Loyalty alive.