Why Kate Middleton wears a wedding ring but Prince William doesn’t

It’s pretty hard to miss the stunning engagement ring Kate Middleton wears (which, interestingly, used to belong to Prince Harry), but she also wears her 18-karat gold wedding band with it. Taking a closer look at her husband’s hands, though, there is never a ring to be found. Is Prince William trying to send a message about his marriage?

Breathe a sigh of relief, because Prince William’s bare hands mean nothing about his commitment to his wife. (Neither does the fact that they don’t hold hands—find out why William and Kate never show PDA.)

Even before the couple tied the knot, palace officials announced William wouldn’t wear a ring after the ceremony. In fact, Kate didn’t even present him with one during the wedding. “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,” said palace aides before the wedding, according to the Daily Mail. “It really is just down to personal preference.” (For more royal wedding trivia, check out the second wedding dress Kate Middleton wore on her big day.)

See more details of her engagement ring: 

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Duchess Kate's engagement ring
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Duchess Kate's engagement ring
GLOUCESTER, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 04: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (seen with a sticking plaster on her left hand) departs after visiting the Nelson Trust Women's Centre on November 4, 2016 in Gloucester, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 06: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Place2Be Big Assembly with Heads Together for Children's Mental Health Week at Mitchell Brook Primary School on February 6, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - DECEMBER 09: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the ICAP charity day at ICAP on December 9, 2015 in London, England. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Britain's Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends a ceremony to officially name Princess Cruises's new ship 'Royal Princess' in Southampton, southern England on June 13, 2013. The Duchess of Cambridge, as the ship's godmother, officially named the Royal Princess with a traditional blessing involving smashing a bottle over the ship's hull in what is expected to her final solo engagement before the birth of her and Prince William's child. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 23: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge carrying her newborn baby son departs the Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge on July 23, 2013 in London, England. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge yesterday gave birth to a boy at 16.24 BST and weighing 8lb 6oz, with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at her side. The baby, as yet unnamed, is third in line to the throne and becomes the Prince of Cambridge. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)
WINDSOR, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 02: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge watches Great Britain Mixed Coxed Four Rowing - LTAMix4+ team celebrate after winning gold on day 4 of the London 2012 Paralympic Games at Eton Dorney on September 2, 2012 in Windsor, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 09: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge watches the Women's Teams Synchronised Swimming Technical Routine on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 30: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Handbag detail) as she attends the UK's Creative Industries Reception at Royal Academy of Arts on July 30, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Danny Martindale/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 30: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the UK's Creative Industries Reception at the Royal Academy of Arts on July 30, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 08: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge's clutch bag, bracelet and engagement ring seen as she attends the 'Lucian Freud Portraits' exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery on February 8, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Indigo/Getty Images)
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Not that Prince William is the first royal to opt out of wearing a wedding ring. His grandpa, Prince Philip, doesn’t wear one either, even though he and Queen Elizabeth II have been married almost 70 years. William’s dad, Prince Charles, does wear one, but on his pinky by his family signet ring instead of on his ring finger.

William’s choice not to wear a ring might seem strange by today’s standard, but exchanging rings isn’t the long-standing tradition you probably thought. Women have been wearing wedding rings since ancient Egypt, but it took centuries for men to join in, according to the BBC. It wasn’t until World War II that men fighting overseas started wearing rings because they wanted something to remind them of their wives and families. Still, find out which royal tradition William and Kate are breaking for their kids.

Ring or not, the Duke of Cambridge’s relationship status isn’t exactly a secret. An estimated 2 billion people tuned into reports of William and Kate’s wedding, so he’s not hiding anything by not wearing a ring. (Don’t miss this one thing you’ll never see Kate Middleton wearing either.)

Related: Behind-the-scene photos from their wedding: 

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The Royal Wedding: Prince William marries Kate Middleton
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The Royal Wedding: Prince William marries Kate Middleton
ATTENTION EDITORS - EMBARGO, RELEASABLE TUESDAY 29 MARCH AT 0001 GMT - THIS RESTRICTION APPLIES TO ALL MEDIA, INCLUDING WEBSITES Royal Demi Chef De Partie, Shaun Mason (L) and Royal Chef Mark Flanagan, Head of Kitchens at Buckingham Palace, work in the kitchens at Buckingham Palace, London on March 25, 2011, as preparations for the forthcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton are underway. The second-in-line to the throne marries his university sweetheart on April 29 at Westminster Abbey, in an event that has become a global media sensation ever since they announced their engagement last November. AFP PHOTO/WPA POOL/Nick Ansell (Photo credit should read Nick Ansell/AFP/Getty Images)
ATTENTION EDITORS - EMBARGO, RELEASABLE TUESDAY 29 MARCH AT 0001 GMT - THIS RESTRICTION APPLIES TO ALL MEDIA, INCLUDING WEBSITES Jennifer Scott, Assistant Curator of Paintings, looks up at her favourite painting as she walks past a Canaletto, Venice towards Santa Maria Della Salute (1723), in the Picture Gallery at Buckingham Palace, London, which will be one of the rooms used during the wedding reception of Prince William and Kate Middleton London on March 25, 2011. The second-in-line to the throne marries his university sweetheart on April 29 at Westminster Abbey, in an event that has become a global media sensation ever since they announced their engagement last November.AFP PHOTO/WPA POOL/Nick Ansell (Photo credit should read Nick Ansell/AFP/Getty Images)
ATTENTION EDITORS - EMBARGO, RELEASABLE TUESDAY 29 MARCH AT 0001 GMT - THIS RESTRICTION APPLIES TO ALL MEDIA, INCLUDING WEBSITES A chef of the Royal Household at Buckingham Palace, London, holds a tray of canapes akin to that which is usually served at receptions held at the palace, in the kitchens at Buckingham Palace, London on March 25, 2011, as preparetions for the forthcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton are underway. The second-in-line to the throne marries his university sweetheart on April 29 at Westminster Abbey, in an event that has become a global media sensation ever since they announced their engagement last November. AFP PHOTO/WPA POOL/Nick Ansell (Photo credit should read Nick Ansell/AFP/Getty Images)
UK - Wedding of Prince William & Kate Middleton - Buckingham Palace (Photo by Stephane Cardinale/Corbis via Getty Images)
(FILE PHOTO) In this composite image a comparison has been made between the Royal Wedding Cathedral aisle walks of Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer with that of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.(Left Image) LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 29: The Wedding Of Prince Charles To Lady Diana Spencer Held At St Paul's Cathedral In London. A General View Of The Prince And Princess Of Wales Walking Arm-in-arm Down The Aisle With Their Bridesmaids And Pageboys. (Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images)(Right image) LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge leave Westminster Abbey following their marriage ceremony, on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, to Catherine Middleton is being held in London today. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Dave Thompson- WPA Pool/Getty Images)
FLECKNEY, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 24: Cake designer Fiona Cairns, who has been commissioned by Prince William and Kate Middleton to create a multi-tiered traditional fruit cake for their wedding, holds a tray of decorations for the cake March 24, 2011 in Fleckney, Leicestershire, England. The wedding will take place on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Rui Vieira - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Catherine Middleton arrives at The Goring Hotel after visiting Westminster Abbey on April 28, 2011 in London, England. With less than 24 hours to go final preparations for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton are in place. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - APRIL 28: The British Embassy in Rome presents a book of signatures to celebrate the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton on April 28, 2011 in Rome, Italy. The wedding of Britain's Prince William and his fiancee Kate Middleton will be celebrated at Westminster Abbey in London on April 29, 2011. (Photo by Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Guests arrive at Westminster Abbey ahead of the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Servicemen in Full Dress arrive to attend the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Crowds pose for a portrait during the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Dave Hogan/GP) (Photo by Dave Hogan/GP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: (Centre) David Beckham and Victoria Beckham arrive to attend the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Georges De Keerle/GP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Guests arrive to attend the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Georges De Keerle/GP/Getty Images)
Queen Sofia of Spain departs Claridge's hotel to attend the wedding of Prince William and Miss Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011 in London, England.
A military marching band perform as they march along the processional route on the day of the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton, on April 29, 2011, in central London. AFP PHOTO / PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU (Photo credit should read PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Tara Palmer-Tomkinson arrives to attend the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Crowds pose for a portrait during the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Dave Hogan/GP) (Photo by Dave Hogan/GP/Getty Images)
A military division march in front of Westminster Abbey in London on the day of the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton, on April 29, 2011. AFP PHOTO / ODD ANDERSEN (Photo credit should read ODD ANDERSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Prince William and Catherine Middleton at the altar during their wedding service in Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is being led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Anthony Devlin - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Catherine Middleton waves to the crowds as she arrives to attend her Royal Wedding to Prince William on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Georges De Keerle/GP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Prince William sings beside his bride Catherine Middleton during their wedding at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, to Catherine Middleton is being held in London today. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Prince William and his new bride Catherine Middleton stand in front of the altar during the service on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, to Catherine Middleton is being held in London today. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and his new bride Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge walk down the aisle at the close of their wedding ceremony at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, to Catherine Middleton is being held in London today. The Archbishop of Canterbury conducted the service which was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding and street parties are being held throughout the UK. (Photo by Richard Pohle-WPA Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: (L-R) Michael Middleton, Carole Middleton, Prince Charles, The Prince of Wales with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Eliza Lopes, Lady Louise Windsor, Grace van Cutsem, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Margarita Armstrong-Jones, page boys Tom Pettifer and William Lowther-Pinkerton with Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, Pippa Middleton, Prince Harry and James Middleton greet well-wishers from the balcony at Buckingham Palace on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne was led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and was attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in London, following their wedding on April 29, 2011. AFP PHOTO / WPA POOL / JOHN STILLWELL (Photo credit should read JOHN STILLWELL/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: Catherine Middleton and her father Michael Middleton arrive to attend the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Kate Middleton, accompanied by her father Michael Middleton arrives at the West Door of Westminster Abbey in London for her wedding to Britain's Prince William, on April 29, 2011. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Charles travels to Westminster Abbey in London for the wedding of Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton, on April 29, 2011. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge depart after their Wedding at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge greet wellwishers from the balcony next to (L-R) Lady Louise Windsor, Grace Van Cutsem at Buckingham Palace on April 29, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
Sister of the Bride and Maid of Honour Pippa Middleton depart the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London, England. The marriage of the second in line to the British throne is to be led by the Archbishop of Canterbury and will be attended by 1900 guests, including foreign Royal family members and heads of state. Thousands of well-wishers from around the world have also flocked to London to witness the spectacle and pageantry of the Royal Wedding. (Photo by Ferdaus Shamim/WireImage)
(L-R) Michael Middleton, Carole Middleton, Eliza Lopes, Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Lady Louise Windsor stand on balcony of Buckingham Palace following the wedding of TRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchesss of Cambridge on April 29, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
Kate Middleton, left, arrives for her wedding with Britain's Prince William as her maid of honor Pippa Middleton holds the train at Westminster Abbey in London. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)
UK - Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate (Catherine) Middleton - Kate Middleton waves to the crowd along the Mall for the trip to Westminster Abbey 29th April 2011 London UK (Photo by Paul Cunningham/Corbis via Getty Images)
UK - Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate (Catherine) Middleton - return along the Mall in an open Landau to Buckingham Palace 29th April 2011 London UK (Photo by Paul Cunningham/Corbis via Getty Images)
Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, leave after their wedding in Westminster Abbey in the 1902 State Landau along the Procession Route, in central London. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)
Princess Anne arrives at Westminster Abbey for the wedding ceremony of Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, in central London. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)
Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, departs Westminster Abbey after the service at the Royal Wedding in London. (Photo by Brooks Kraft LLC/Corbis via Getty Images)
HRH Prince William and Princess Catherine in the procession after their Royal wedding at Westminster Abbey . (Photo by rune hellestad/Corbis via Getty Images)
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“William and Kate have shown us they are modern royals and are confident in each other’s love for one another,” Diane Clehane, author of Imagining Diana, tells Vogue. “Kate omitted the word ‘obey’ in her wedding vows, and William has opted not to wear a ring, which makes them like many millennial couples—intent on doing things their way.” For more examples, don’t miss this other royal rule William and Kate break all the time.

[Source: Vogue]

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