queen-maxima-ring

The heartfelt reason Queen Maxima wears engagement ring on her right hand

The royal switches between both hands

Nichola Murphy

Queen Maxima of the Netherlands' engagement ring is often pictured on her right hand, unlike other royal brides. Both engagement and wedding rings are traditionally worn on the fourth finger of your left hand, as shown by the likes of Meghan Markle, Kate Middleton and Princess Eugenie.

RELATED: Queen Maxima's engagement ring is just like Princess Eugenie's

But there actually could be a very sentimental reason that Maxima switches between her two hands, and it is based on past religious practice. 

The royal was raised in the Catholic Church, which used to see people favour their right hand for their engagement and wedding rings because it was supposedly associated with strength. However, her husband King Willem-Alexander is Protestant and they typically wore rings on their left hands as a way to symbolise the break from the Catholic Church.

Loading the player...

WATCH: 10 of the most dazzling celebrity engagement rings

Perhaps Maxima could be honouring both of their traditions by alternating her engagement and wedding bands between the two. Today, many Catholics also wear the wedding ring on the ring finger, but the right hand is still custom in some European countries.

MORE: 9 beautiful rose gold engagement rings to say yes to

READ: 11 most unusual royal wedding gifts of all time

When Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander announced their engagement on 30 March 2001, royal fans first caught a glimpse of the unusual ring.

maxima-right-hand

Queen Maxima wears her engagement and wedding bands on both hands

The then Prince of Orange presented his future bride with an impressive white gold engagement ring encrusted with sparkling gems from jewellery house Steltman.

It featured a unique oval orange diamond at the centre flanked by two emerald-cut diamonds – which has symbolic significance as it was a subtle nod to the national colour of the Netherlands. 

maxima-willem-engagement

The couple got engaged in 2002

A little under a year after Queen Beatrix announced their official engagement, Queen Maxima and King Willem-Alexander got married on 2 February 2002. 

The bride wore a beautiful gown by Valentino which featured a cowl neckline, three-quarter sleeves and a stunning 16.4ft lace train. The former banker topped off her look with a diamond tiara and a lace veil. 

READ: Where to buy an antique or vintage engagement ring - and the best styles to shop

Make sure you never miss a ROYAL story! Sign up to our newsletter to get all of our celebrity, royal and lifestyle news delivered directly to your inbox.

Activate HELLO! alerts and find out about everything before anyone else.