There seems to be a royal protocol for everything, but one notable exception is wedding bands. While his dad and brother both proudly sport their proof of marital purchase, Prince William has and will forever go bare-fingered. Here’s the real reason why Prince William doesn’t wear a wedding ring.
He isn’t breaking any rules Though Hello! magazine revealed Prince William’s brother, Prince Harry, has worn a sleek platinum ring ever since he and Meghan Markle tied the knot in May 2018, Prince William is his little brother’s polar opposite. He decided to forgo the customary tradition, and he’s in good company, too.
His grandfather, Prince Philip, hasn’t worn a wedding ring since his November 20th, 1947 wedding to Queen Elizabeth II. In addition, Prince William’s father, Prince Charles, doesn’t wear a ring either. Well, he doesn’t wear one on his ring finger, at least. Instead, during both of his marriages, to Princess Diana and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Prince Charles has worn his wedding band next to a fancy ring adorned with “the official symbol of the Prince of Wales” … on his pinky finger, of all places.
Though the British Royal Family is known for having some strict rules, many of which are quite bizarre, forcing male royals to wear a wedding band isn’t one of them. Jewelry isn’t his thing Ahead of the couple’s televised royal wedding, there was a lot of chatter about whether Prince William would wear a wedding ring or not. Yes, it was that big of a deal. And due to all of the speculation and endless gossip in the rumor mill, an aide for the royal family decided to release a statement to set the record straight.
According to the senior royal source, Prince William had discussed with his bride-to-be whether he would wear a wedding band or not and, ultimately, he decided not to, simply out of personal preference. During their beautiful wedding ceremony in London’s Westminster Abbey, Prince William did present his new bride with a wedding band. And it was a stunner: a lump of Welsh gold owned by the royal family that paired perfectly with her gigantic sapphire engagement ring.
So why is it William’s preference to not wear a band himself? According to royal biographer Penny Junor: “[Prince William] doesn’t like jewelry, and the Palace issued a statement before their wedding saying so.” Aside from the occasional timepiece on his wrist, the closest we get to seeing William in jewelry-like adornments is when he’s in formal military dress.
The ringless tradition Though Vogue magazine reported that 90 percent of married Englishmen have wedding rings, some think Prince William’s aversion to wearing a bauble may actually be the real tradition. For many years, it was actually uncommon for married men in the U.K. to wear rings. However, that all changed during the World War II-era. It was during that time when soldiers reportedly wanted “reminders of their wives” who were waiting for them back home, so they were all for wearing bands in honor of their spouses. So, maybe Prince William is taking cues from the ringless men in history who came before him.
A modern prince Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding signaled a new era in the Royal Family. The couple broke a few of the family’s centuries-long traditions, such as their decision to sleep at Buckingham Palace on their wedding night instead of jetting off to their honeymoon on the day of their wedding like the royals before them had done. As they made their own traditions and tailored their wedding day and night to their own needs, the emergence of a contemporary royal was born. So, it only makes sense that Prince William wouldn’t wear a wedding band.
As a matter of fact, we wouldn’t expect anything less from him at this point. And royal biographer Diane Clehane said it best in an interview with Vogue magazine: “William and Kate have shown us they are modern royals and are confident in each other’s love for one another.” His ringless finger is very millennial of him, and it seems more like a contemporary style choice than any kind of weird slight.
Everyone knows he’s taken For the regular groom, a wedding ring can thwart the advances of other suitors who aren’t his wife. But, is that really necessary for Prince William? William and Kate’s 2011 wedding was watched by an estimated 2 billion people in more than 180 countries, according to The Telegraph. In addition to that, there were thousands of journalists to take photographs and record videos of the royal couple, and the pictures and footage were later blasted on various news outlets.
The Telegraph also noted that nearly 3 million people in Great Britain and the United States combined wrote about the wedding on social media. In other words, you’d have to be living on Mars to not know that the prince is a taken man. A wedding ring represents marriage, but it’s not the only way someone can prove that they’re devoted to the life-long commitment they made. Prince William may not be wearing a wedding ring any time soon, but there’s no doubt he’s committed to his Duchess and their children either way.