The real reason why Prince William doesn't wear a wedding ring

On Apr. 29, 2011, the world watched in awe as Prince William married his long-time love, Catherine "Kate" Middleton. The wedding, which took place at Westminster Abbey in front of a throng of well-wishers, was also broadcast live for the billions of royal fans worldwide. While the couple's wedding took our breath away, we couldn't help but notice that his new bride was the only one rocking a ring on that finger. Was something amiss?

Middleton is always spotted wearing her sentimental, "12-carat sapphire-and-diamond" engagement ring, along with "an 18-karat [wedding] band made of Welsh gold," according to Vogue. The Duke of Cambridge, on the other hand, has bucked tradition. While most male royals, like William's brother, Prince Harry, gleefully wear their wedding bands, the man who is second in line to the throne has been sans a shiny token of his wife's affection ever since they said their "I do's." Here are the real reasons why Prince William doesn't wear a wedding ring.

It's all about preference

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 through the Daily Mail 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. "It is simply down to personal preference," the aide said to justify Prince William's decision.

During their beautiful wedding ceremony in London's Westminster Abbey, he still presented his new bride with a wedding band, though. And it was a stunner: a lump of Welsh gold owned by the royal family that paired perfectly with her gigantic sapphire engagement ring.

It's not required, just ask his dad

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. 

Prince William 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 20, 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, according to a separate Hello! report. 

So, there you have it. 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.

He 'doesn't like jewelry'

You probably have a clear idea as to why Prince William isn't flaunting some bling on his ring finger by now, but we haven't even touched on one of the main reasons his wife, Kate Middleton, didn't present him with a ring on their wedding day.

Penny Junor, the author of The Duchess: Camilla Parker Bowles and the Love Affair that Rocked the Crown, told Vogue, "[Prince William] doesn't like jewelry, and the Palace issued a statement before their wedding saying so."

Okay, that makes sense. Aside from the occasional timepiece on his wrist, the last time we saw Prince William in some jewelry was during a 2014 trip to the Maldives. The locals adorned both Prince William and his wifey with traditional beaded necklaces. And, looking back at the pictures of them in the statement pieces, the look on Prince William's face screamed, "Get this thing off of me!" Okay, maybe that was our interpretation.

Still, he's definitely not a fan of jewelry like his younger brother, Prince Harry, who wore matching beaded bracelets with Meghan Markle at the start of their relationship. So, let's just cut Prince William some slack, deal?

Is going ringless the real tradition?

Though Vogue magazine reported that 90 percent of married Englishmen have wedding rings, signifying the norm of this traditional piece of jewelry, some think Prince William's aversion to wearing a bauble may actually be the real tradition.

Case in point: according to the publication, elite male Brits of high society have also been known to ignore wedding ring trends, lamenting that men weren't supposed to wear jewelry. Yeah, whatever that means.

The publication added that 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. Pretty sweet, right?

So, maybe Prince Williams is taking cues from the ringless men in history who came before him?

Who needs a ring when you're super modern?

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, according to Harper's Bazaar

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 well. As a matter of fact, we wouldn't expect anything less from him at this point. And Diane Clehane, the author of Imagining Diana, 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 now that we know some of the real reasons why he goes without a band, it actually seems like a more contemporary style choice than any kind of weird slight. 

Duh! We already know he's taken

For the regular, degular, shmegular groom, a wedding ring can thwart the advances of other suitors who aren't his wife. But, is that really necessary for Prince William? Hmm…let's see.

Their 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 "more than 8,500 journalists in London" 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 "2.8 million people in Great Britain and the U.S." combined "had written status updates about the royal wedding" on social media, and 237 tweets were posted per second about the extravagant event. Whew. That's a lot of tweets! In other words, you'd have to be living on Mars to not know that the prince was 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 that he's committed to his Duchess and their children either way.