Kate Middleton recently returned to her public duties after a short break to celebrate her 41st birthday. While the visit to a new hospital was business as usual for the royal, eagle-eyed fans noticed something was missing: her engagement ring!
Where Was Middleton’s Engagement Ring On Recent Hospital Visit?
Middleton and her husband Prince William traveled to Liverpool to visit the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital. She and the prince toured the hospital and met with patients, even taking selfies with some lucky people.
As always, the Princess of Wales was dressed to impress. She wore a navy belted Cefinn dress with coordinating heels and a tartan overcoat. Middleton accessorized the look with a set of stunning sapphire earrings.
The earrings would have perfectly matched her eye-catching sapphire engagement ring—if she had been wearing it, that is. The princess is almost never seen without her ring, which caused some fans to panic. Why did Middleton ditch both her engagement ring and the eternity ring William gave her after the birth of their first child, Prince George?
The answer is pretty simple: the hospital patients’ health and safety. Excess jewelry could lead to the spread of germs. At the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, as well as many other hospitals Middleton has visited, protocol asks visitors to wear minimal jewelry (per Hello!). This rule about leaving jewelry at home explains why Middleton didn’t remove her gold wedding band.
This isn’t the only time Middleton has left her sapphire engagement ring at home. The Princess of Wales also removes her rings—barring her wedding band—when she attends events that might require physical activity, such as the Commonwealth Games.
Middleton’s Stunning Sapphire Engagement Ring
It makes sense that Middleton would be protective of her engagement ring. The diamond and sapphire ring was once worn by William’s mother, the late Princess Diana, and is estimated to be worth about £390,000.
William has spoken about his decision to give Middleton his mother’s ring, saying it was his “way of keeping her sort of close to it all.” The 12-carat ring is made up of large Ceylon sapphire surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds.
“It’s beautiful—I hope I look after it,” Middleton said of the statement-making ring during the couple’s engagement interview. “It’s very special.”
It’s strange to see the princess without her now-trademark engagement ring, but Middleton is a stickler for following hospital policy.