Kate Middleton's Pictured Without Her Engagement Ring as She Self-Isolates With Her Family

Which makes sense, actually.

  • Royal fans recently spotted that a photo of Kate Middleton is missing her trademark sapphire engagement ring (opens in new tab)–she's just wearing her wedding band.
  • But this is likely either Kate's casual style at home, or Kate leaving her ring off with the rigorous hand-washing protocol in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The ring, which originally belonged to Princess Diana, was actually quite controversial (opens in new tab) back in the day.

Kate Middleton's taken off her engagement ring, per a recent image posted by the Royal Family—but, lest we all freak out, it's for a super-relatable reason. According to HELLO! (opens in new tab), she's not the only public figure who may have decided to take off their ring during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

There hasn't been an official directive about removal of jewelry, but experts (opens in new tab) say that with all the hand-washing to protect yourself from COVID-19, it makes sense to either take off the jewelry when you wash up or just leave them off altogether. Germs can live under rings, but it's unclear how it affects any kind of transmission. Kate has to meet and interact with so many people, this just makes intuitive sense to me. 

In the image, Kate's wearing the same rose Marks & Spencer suit she wore when she and Prince William made a visit to an NHS call center earlier in March. Either this is a rewear, or the pics were taken the same day as that event. The blazer's (opens in new tab) still available in select styles, if that's something you're into! The pants (opens in new tab) have just a few sizes left, so go quick.

A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily) (opens in new tab)

A photo posted by on

Also, real talk: I have to take my engagement ring off when I get home anyways. Since mine is raised like hers, the potential for it to whack into things (the dishes, a coffee mug, my face) is huge. So this might also just be a cute little detail of Kate at home, as casual as we'll probably ever see her.

And to be fair, there have been royal events in which Kate leaves the chunkier ring at home and favors her simple wedding band, like this one in January at the National Portrait Gallery:


(Image credit: Samir Hussein)

And, for context, here's the Duchess on March 9 with her trademark sapphire:


(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo)

So chances are it'll make a reappearance soon, whenever they start doing royal engagements again.

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Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.