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Why Meghan Markle ditched engagement ring for outing with mother Doria

The Duchess of Sussex was pictured wearing just her eternity and wedding rings

The Duchess of Sussex modelling her engagement ring at a reception at Government House in 2018

Whether she's going on a low-key date night with her husband Prince Harry in California or appearing at a red carpet event, one part of Meghan Markle's outfit we can normally predict is her accessories – at least when it comes to her rings.

The Duchess of Sussex is rarely spotted without her sentimental engagement ring, but she left it at home and opted to sport just her eternity and wedding rings from Harry for her latest outing. She joined her husband and her mother Doria Ragland at the Woman Of Vision Awards in New York on May 16, where she wore a stunning golden pencil dress from Johanna Ortiz with a strapless neckline, keyhole cutout and front split. She added metallic accessories including matching gold heels from Tom Ford, her Cartier 'Love' bracelet and a contrasting silver bracelet, finishing off her look with just a few delicate bands to each hand. 

WATCH: Meghan and Harry make very unusual entrance at Ms. Foundation Awards

The diamond-studded ring on her left hand was thought to have been given to Meghan on her first wedding anniversary and was nestled alongside her Welsh gold wedding ring, made from the same nugget as Princess Kate's and the late Queen Elizabeth's.

Normally sitting centre stage on her ring finger is her trilogy engagement ring, which features a diamond from Princess Diana's collection flanked by two rocks from Botswana. When the Duke proposed in 2017, the ring originally featured a gold band, which he said was Meghan's favourite, but he later changed it to a diamond band when he had the eternity ring made. 

She made surprising alterations to her incredible dress© Kevin Mazur
Meghan was spotted without her engagement ring at the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards

Perhaps Meghan chose to leave the special rock at home to prevent overwhelming her glamorous look with too much sparkle – after all, the Duchess' style is synonymous with minimalist accessories and modern lines. 

Royal biography Finding Freedom shed light on Meghan's eternity ring which was thoughtfully created by Prince Harry. Authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand explained: "On May 19, 2019, Harry also surprised his wife of one year with the gift of a ring that he had created with jeweller-to-the-stars Lorraine Schwartz, a favourite of Meghan's.

The Duchess of Sussex's engagement ring, wedding ring and eternity ring© Getty
The Duchess of Sussex often wears her engagement ring, wedding ring and eternity ring

"The conflict-free diamond eternity band paid homage to the family of three with Meghan's, Archie's and Harry's birthstones (peridot, emerald, and sapphire, respectively) on the underside of the ring."

This is not the first time Meghan has removed her engagement ring – she deliberately chose "low key" jewellery during her royal tour of South Africa, and she wore minimal accessories in a series of photos for The Cut in 2022.

As part of their Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan, which covers their love story, the royals discussed the moment Harry first presented the former Suits actress with the ring in the grounds of Kensington Palace.

Meghan Markle showing off her wedding and engagement rings on her 2018 wedding day© Getty
Meghan's engagement ring originally featured a gold band

"I wanted to do it earlier. Because I had to ask permission from my grandmother, I couldn't do it outside of the UK," he began. "I did pop a bottle of champagne while she was roasting a chicken and that kind of slightly gave the game away."

He then set up a secret picnic blanket outside surrounded by electric candles and white flowers. "In the little walled garden, overlooked by the staff flats, I got 15 of those electric candles," Harry explained. A photo showed the royal on one knee holding a ring box in one hand and Meghan's pet dog Guy in the other.

"It wasn't that I knew she'd say yes, but she'd already moved Guy over so I had Guy as a hostage. And he was in stilts so he couldn't run away," he quipped, with a green jacket-clad Meghan leaning in for a selfie with Harry and her pooch following their engagement.

See more photos from Meghan's latest appearance...

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex attend the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards© Getty
She was joined by Prince Harry and Doria Ragland
Doria Ragland, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex attend the Ms. Foundation Women of Vision Awards© Kevin Mazur
Doria Ragland also looked glamorous in a black gown
Markus Anderson Genevieve Hillis and Jill Smoller© Getty
Meghan looked gorgeous in gold for the occasion
The royal kept her accessories simple© MEGA
The royal kept her accessories simple
Meghan Markle recieved the Woman of Vision award
The Duchess received the Woman of Vision award

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