When Meghan Markle and Prince Harry walk down the aisle in May, they will be taking part in a centuries-old marriage ceremony. There, the bride will wear white, like so many brides before her, and the pair will exchange vows and say “I do” as couples have done throughout history.
But, while the pair will be taking part in plenty of wedding traditions, there’s one thing Prince Harry may choose to not take part in: wearing a wedding ring.
As Town & Country pointed out, several male members of the royal family have forgone the tradition of wearing a wedding band after their marriage. Prince Phillip, who has been married to Queen Elizabeth for more than 70 years, has never worn a band. Prince William, who wed Kate Middleton in 2011, doesn’t wear a ring either. “He doesn’t like jewelry, and the Palace issued a statement before their wedding saying so,” Penny Junor, author of “The Duchess: Camilla Parker Bowles and the Love Affair that Rocked the Crown,” told Vogue in defense of William.
While this seems to be a pattern, it’s not technically royal tradition to ditch the ring. According to Business Insider, Prince Charles wore a ring throughout his marriage to Diana. He’s also worn a ring, albeit on his pinky finger, since marrying his second wife, Camilla.
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But really, if Harry chooses to not wear a wedding ring he won’t be alone, especially in high society.
“In the UK, it is a modern tradition that men have adopted wearing a wedding ring,”Junor added. “But it’s not all that common among the aristocracy. Former prime minister David Cameron does not wear a wedding ring.”
Though if Harry does wear a ring to match his bride’s, it will come from a very special source, according to Koenig.
“In 1923, the Duke of York, the future King George VI, received a nugget of gold from the Clogau mine,” she said. “There was enough in this nugget to make rings for Princess Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, and the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer.”
She added, “That nugget is largely exhausted, but the Queen has received gifts of other nuggets of Welsh gold during her reign. She gave gold to William for Catherine’s ring. One assumes she will do the same for Harry.”