prince-harry

Prince Harry to break with tradition and wear wedding band

The royal groom has surprised fans by opting for a wedding ring

Sophie Hamilton

In a surprising break with tradition, Prince Harry is to wear a wedding band when he marries his bride Meghan Markle at St. George's Chapel in Windsor. The news was revealed in the couple's order of service, which was released to the media on Friday. Harry and Meghan are due to exchange bands in the 'giving of rings' part of the service. It's a lovely touch to a very modern ceremony, which has captured the nation's hearts. Royal wedding bands are traditionally made from Welsh gold so all eyes will be on the bride and groom to see what their bands will look like.

Royal fans will be particularly surprised to see the Prince wearing a wedding band, as his brother Prince William chose not to have a ring when he married the Duchess of Cambridge, which is in keeping with previous grooms in the royal family such as the Duke of Edinburgh. There is a contrast to the royal rule though - Prince Charles does wear a wedding band - under a signet ring on the little finger of his left hand.

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The custom of men wearing wedding rings is said to be relatively recent and is believed to have started during the Second World War when servicemen wanted a memento to remind them of their partners back home. Its popularity increased as the decades passed and as it became more fashionable for men to wear jewellery - but most royal men have still chosen to go without.

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Royal wedding rings have historically been given wedding rings made from the golden nuggets of Clogau St David's mine at Bontddu, North Wales. Duchess Kate's wedding ring - a plain, slim gold band - was made by royal warrant holders Wartski and fashioned from a piece of Welsh gold given to William by his grandmother the Queen as a gift to mark his 2011 wedding.