Here's the real reason why Prince William never wears his wedding ring

Here's the real reason why Prince William never wears his wedding ring

At long last, it seems like the collective royal wedding mania has died down ... at least for a little while. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are loved up and have tied the knot together, and Kensington Palace has now announced that the happy couple is expecting their own little bundle of joy in the near future. It's a shame for all the royal family obsessives out there that the excitement of it all has regressed after the initial fever pitch, but it does mean that the rest of the royals are now coming under scrutiny.

This includes Harry's older brother, Prince William. A number of people have noticed something very alarming about the future king of Great Britain: namely, that he's going bald. Seriously, his head now looks like an Easter egg. But the second thing, which more attentive people might notice is this: Prince William doesn't wear a wedding ring. Shock! Horror! What is going on here? Are his fingers too chubby for jewellery? Or is William trying to pretend that he isn't actually married to Kate Middleton?

A lot of people have commented on William's ringless ring finger, and have been curious about the phenomenon. But as it turns out, there's actually a reason for it after all. Phew! The thing is, you might not know this, but up until midway through the 20th century, it was actually common for only women to wear wedding rings. Most men would forgo them, since in a patriarchal society it was seen as more important to determine a woman's marital status than a man's.

An image of Prince William. Credit: Getty

As society began to loosen up and become more liberal, and first and second wave feminism led to great strides in  gender equality, men started wearing wedding rings to match their partners and symbolise their equality. Because the royal family (and British aristocracy in general) is tied to a number of rather archaic traditions, it's not considered essential for men to wear wedding rings if they don't want to.

Commenting on William's decision, royal reporter Rebecca English stated: "It was something the couple discussed but Prince William isn't one for jewelry—he doesn't even wear a signet ring—and decided he didn't want to. It really is just down to personal preference. It is quite common for men in that strata of society not to wear a traditional wedding band. If they do, they tend to wear it with their family signet ring but William doesn't have one of those."

Meanwhile, David Miller, director of Debretts and an expert on aristocratic etiquette, claims: "Wearing a wedding ring used to be uncommon for men but now it is quite accepted practice. That said, it really is a matter of personal choice and members of the Royal Family often chose to wear it with a signet ring on the little finger of their left hand."

So there you have it folks: you can all rest easy. There is an explanation for the missing ring after all!