Kate Middleton has always donned her engagement ring and is never without it — until recently. The duchess attended the Commonwealth Games without the ring, which has raised numerous questions from royal fans. It turns out that the jewel should have belonged to Meghan Markle in the first place.
Kate Middleton and Prince William's marriage is the epitome of a successful relationship. Despite their private life often being thrown in the limelight, they have proven time and again to be not only compassionate towards each other but to their three children.
The two have been married since April 2011, when they exchanged vows in a service watched by an estimated billion people worldwide. Since then, the Duchess of Cambridge has donned many stunning jewelry pieces.
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 | Source: Getty Images
The most prominent pieces are her three rings, which she wears on her ring fingers. One of the pieces is her engagement ring given to her by William when he proposed on the slopes of Mt Kenya during their Africa tour in October 2010.
The ring boasts a central sapphire with diamonds and is worth £300,000. Designed by the former Crown jeweler Garrard & Co, the piece features a 12-carat oval sapphire set in 18k white gold, surrounded by 14 solitaire diamonds.
Despite its extravagant price tag, the ring's value is mainly sentimental as it once belonged to William's mother, Princess Diana, and has been in the royal family for decades.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the Out-Sourcing Inc. Royal Charity Polo Cup at Guards Polo Club, Flemish Farm on July 6, 2022 in Windsor, England | Source: Getty Images
Middleton's second ring is a wedding band given to her by William on their big day in 2011. The Queen gifted William the ring after his engagement.
It is designed from a particular nugget of Welsh gold by a London-based jeweler, Wartski. Based on its weight and the gold used to create it, the ring is valued in upwards of £2,000.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge attends the launch the King's Cup Regatta at the Cutty Sark, Greenwich on May 7, 2019 in London, England | Source: Getty Images
Years later, she added another gem to her finger collection. The third piece of jewelry, an eternity ring, is a gift to Middleton from William after they had their first baby, Prince George, in 2013.
Jewelry experts at Joshua James jewelers in England explained that an eternity ring is used to mark specific milestones in a relationship. In their case, William gifted Middleton the ring to mark their milestones as new parents as they had just welcomed their firstborn baby, Prince George.
Kate Middleton during an official visit to Cambridgeshire on June 23, 2022 in Cambridge, England. The Duchess wears three rings on her ring finger | Source: Getty Images
The ring is designed from 18-carat white gold and features 0.23 carats of white diamonds. The band, valued at £1,200, is a product of London-based designer Annoushka.
Middleton may only be following a sweet tradition when choosing to wear all her rings. However, the order in which she wears them is of great significance. She wears her wedding ring first to signify that it is closest to her heart. The engagement ring follows, and finally, the eternity ring goes on.
MIDDLETON WAS SPOTTED WITHOUT HER SAPPHIRE RING
Prince William,Kate Middleton and Princess Charlotte pose for a photograph as they visit Sportsid House at the 2022 Commonwealth Games on August 02, 2022 in Birmingham, England | Source: Getty Images
Since the Cambridges welcomed their first baby in 2013, Middleton has never stepped out without her three rings. Thus, fans were shocked when she was spotted without her famed gems.
The duchess stepped out to attend the ongoing Commonwealth Games at Birmingham and sat with her husband and children watching the swimming, hockey, and gymnastics sporting events.
She looked dapper in a white trouser suit and flat shoes, paired with Mappin & Webb diamond earrings and pendant. However, many royal fans could not help but notice that something paramount was missing from the ensemble.
She did not have her sapphire engagement ring or her eternity ring. She only wore her yellow gold Welsh wedding band on her ring finger.
The sapphire ring's absence piqued the interest and curiosity of many fans, some of who wondered why she did not have it on. Some assumed she had removed it when she participated in a sailing event in Plymouth on Sunday, July 31.
Others believed the duchess had lost it during the event or that it had been damaged. Some, however, were not too skeptical and thought she had merely forgotten to wear it. One fan, @CharleyLucy2, expressed her confusion on Twitter, writing:
"Had she left it by the sink after she did the washing up?"
The development has raised eyebrows, especially since it comes only a month after Middleton and William were spotted being affectionate in public during a charity polo match in Windsor on July 6.
It is unusual for royals to display affection and act all lovey-dovey in public. Still, Middleton did not shy away from planting a congratulatory kiss on her husband's cheek after his team won the fundraising polo tournament. The two also hugged and left the field with their hands wrapped around each other's backs.
THE ENGAGEMENT RING BELONGS TO MEGHAN MARKLE
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge at the Wimbledon Women's Singles Final at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 09, 2022 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
Even as questions arise about the sapphire ring missing on Middleton's finger, it appears that it wasn't Middleton's to begin with. The gem should belong to Prince Harry's wife, Meghan Markle.
In 2017, a former servant of the royal household, Paul Burrell, said it ended up on Middleton's finger due to a touching gesture from Harry.
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge sit in front of the Taj Mahal during day seven of the royal tour of India and Bhutan on April 16, 2016 in Agra, India. | Source: Getty Images
He disclosed that Harry and William had chosen pieces from their mother's collection. And while William chose a Cartier watch, the younger brother took the sapphire ring, the only thing he inherited from his mother.
In a selfless act, Harry gifted William the gem after announcing he planned to propose to Middleton. He figured it would sit on the throne once William became King, saying:
"Wouldn't it be fitting if she had Mummy's ring? Then one day, that ring will be sat on the throne of England."
Meghan Markle attends an Anzac Day Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey on April 25, 2018 in London, England. | Source: Getty Images
"The one thing he kept from his mother, he gave to his brother. That's selfless, kind, and exactly who Diana was." Burrell continued. Maybe if Harry had not offered the ring to William, he'd have proposed to Markle with it.
However, the former actress did not miss out as Harry proposed to her with a personalized diamond ring estimated to be worth £260,000. The ring's center stone was sourced from Botswana, and the other two from Diana's collection, so it still holds sentimental value to Harry.
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