Meghan Markle has a pretty noticeable, blingy engagement ring – a whopper with a 3-carat diamond, in fact – but if you’ve looked at any of her recent pics, you might notice that it’s notably absent and presumably hasn’t come along with the Duchess of Sussex on her royal tour of Africa. Markle, along with Prince Harry and 4-month-old Archie, recently arrived in Cape Town, South Africa, and began making the rounds on an official royal visit.
As photos began to surface from their travels, though, it didn’t take eagle-eyed fans a long time to notice that the duchess wasn’t wearing her giant engagement ring during the trip. Instead, they noticed that she’s sporting a much less flashy, more modest ring, featuring a simple gold band with a small turquoise stone alongside her gold wedding band.
The simple turquoise ring is a Jennifer Meyer creation that is currently sold out. It typically sells for the relatively affordable price point of $250, so nowhere near the cost of a hefty 3-carat diamond. It’s classy and understated, while still being a gorgeous accessory for the Duchess of Sussex on her and her family’s royal visit.
And as it turns out, that desire for simplicity is exactly the reason Markle left her engagement ring behind – a source confirmed to People that she wanted to maintain a more low-key profile during meet and greets while travelling through South Africa.
Her engagement ring isn’t the only thing missing from her ensemble, though. Markle has also chosen to not wear her eternity ring – an anniversary gift from Prince Harry – on the African tour.
Still, it was Markle’s engagement ring that got a lot more interest when the future royal revealed it shortly after she and Prince Harry announced their engagement in 2017. The three-stone ring is packed with deeper meaning – as Harry has detailed in interviews, the smaller diamonds on either side of the center stone are from his mother Princess Diana’s personal jewelry collection.
For those out of the know, Botswana is a landlocked country bordering South Africa that Prince Harry calls his second home, as it’s a place that the young prince visited frequently and spent time in after the untimely death of his mother. He told ABC News:
“I first went to Botswana in 1997, straight after my mum died. My dad told my brother and me we were going to Africa to get away from it all. This is where I feel more like myself than anywhere else in the world. I have this intense sense of complete relaxation and normality here.”
While everyone is very interested in royal engagements and the resulting rings, fans have noticed that wedding rings aren’t a part of every prince’s outfit. The Daily Mail reports that Prince William, for instance, simply doesn’t care for jewelry – and according to Hello Magazine, Prince Philip does not wear a ring on his hand either. Prince Charles, on the other hand, always dons a ring, as does Harry.
The wedding band Markle wears was fashioned from Welsh gold and was gifted to her from the Queen, while Prince Harry’s band is made from platinum. Prince Charles, of course, wears his wedding ring on his pinky finger, while Harry’s resides on his ring finger.
Markle’s fashion choices are always the subject of scrutiny from the public, and while her rings are the big story here, people have also noticed that the duchess doesn’t always wear a brand-new outfit on outings. For example, when the family first arrived in South Africa, it was noticed that she was wearing a dress that she had already been seen wearing before in October of last year. She also wore a striped maxi dress on this trip that was previously spotted during the couple’s visit to Australia, which also occurred last October. So while Meghan’s reasons for leaving her ring behind may make sense for royal critics, doubling up on outfits might be a little less excusable.
The royal family, who recently spent time with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, are set to continue on their tour for several more days. This is the first visit to South Africa for Meghan, and it’s baby Archie’s very first official tour anywhere.
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