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The real reason Prince William doesn't wear a wedding ring

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been married for nine years

Gemma Strong

He's quite clearly a devoted family man – so why is it that the Duke of Cambridge doesn't wear a wedding band? Eagle-eyed royal fans might have noticed that ever since his marriage to Kate Middleton in April 2011, Prince William has chosen not to wear a traditional wedding ring. And the reason is very simple; it's a case of personal preference.

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WATCH: A look back at William and Kate's wedding

William, 37, doesn't wear a wedding band because he does not like wearing jewellery of any kind, and so decided to remain ringless following his nuptials. His decision was actually first announced shortly before his Westminster Abbey wedding ceremony, with a statement from St James' Palace confirming the news.

READ: Kate Middleton heads back to work on ninth wedding anniversary

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Prince William chose not to wear a wedding ring following his marriage to Kate

He's not the only male member of the royal family to do so. Despite being married to the Queen for over 70 years, Prince Philip has also never worn a wedding ring. In comparison, William's father Prince Charles does wear one – next to a signet ring on the little finger of his left hand – and so does William's brother, Prince Harry.

While Charles wears a classic gold band, Harry is thought to have wanted a more modern look for the special piece of jewellery, choosing a sleek platinum design instead. Harry and Meghan asked court jewellers Cleave and Company to create their wedding jewellery, which the palace revealed in a statement just before the royal wedding. "Ms. Markle's ring has been fashioned from a piece of Welsh Gold, gifted by Her Majesty The Queen. Prince Harry's ring will be a Platinum Band with a textured finish. Both rings were crafted in the Cleave workshop," the notice read.

MORE: Prince William and Kate Middleton's love story – from university sweethearts to proud parents

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Prince Harry's wedding ring

The tradition of women wearing wedding rings dates back to ancient Egypt, but it was only in the latter part of the last century that a small number of bridegrooms started doing the same. World War II is thought to have triggered a seismic shift, with many Western men fighting overseas choosing to wear bands as a reminder of their wives and families back home.

A wedding band is usually worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because of an ancient belief that there was a vein running directly from that finger to the heart, which the Romans called 'vena amoris' – 'vein of love'.

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Duchess Kate's wedding ring is made from gold from the Clogau St David's mine

William's wife Kate does wear a wedding ring, which is made from gold taken from the Clogau St David's mine at Bontddu in north Wales.

Gold from the Clogau St David's mine has been used for a number of royal wedding bands, including those for the Queen, the Queen Mother and Diana, Princess of Wales. The Queen was presented with a fresh supply of gold by the mine in 1986 and it was from this that Kate's ring was made.

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