Why the Countess of Wessex hasn't been wearing her engagement ring

Have you noticed?

The Countess of Wessex returned to public engagements following her annual summer break earlier in September, stepping out to visit the Thames Valley Air Ambulance at the White Waltham Airfield in Maidenhead.

MORE: The sweet story behind Kate Middleton and Countess Sophie's matching bracelets

Some eagle-eyed fans may have noticed that one very important piece of jewellery was missing from Sophie's look, however - her beautiful diamond engagement ring! 

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WATCH: Iconic engagement rings

The royal could be seen sporting her traditional Welsh gold wedding band, but her sparkling ring was nowhere to be seen. 

For her recent cover shot for Good Housekeeping magazine, she also appeared to have removed both rings - and she only sported her wedding band for her visit to a Surrey pub back in July. 

Visiting Thames Valley Air Ambulance in September

Of course, there could be a number of reasons why Sophie hasn't been wearing her engagement ring - she could have simply forgotten to put it on, or she may be having it resized.

Or perhaps due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Countess may prefer to leave her ring at home for hygiene reasons. Some experts have suggested that removing rings is a good idea to help stop the spread of germs - or clean them thoroughly every time you wash your hands.

She wasn't wearing her engagement rings during her appearances in February, either

The Duchess of Cambridge has also been pictured without her engagement ring during the coronavirus crisis, and the likes of Lorraine Kelly and Holly Willoughby also revealed that they removed them for some time during the pandemic.

However, Sophie was pictured without her engagement ring as early as February 2020, during her engagements at the Shooting Star Chase Hospice and at the Central School of Ballet.

She sported her diamond ring during her trip to Sierra Leone in January 2020

The virus was certainly about at that point, though the UK didn't go into lockdown until March - but perhaps the Countess had already begun to practice caution during public engagements.

Either way, we're hoping we see that beautiful sparkler sometime soon...

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