Elspeth Lodge Mar 31, 2011 – 2:13 PM ET | Last Updated: Mar 31, 2011 2:16 PM ET
A display of his lack of commitment to his new bride, perhaps?
Well, possibly not. While we can’t pinpoint the reason Prince William won’t wear a wedding band, it’s not as unheard of, or as scandalous as one might think.
A fairly recent tradition…
Michael Buholzer / Reuters
A groom slips a wedding ring on his brides finger.
The male wedding band is a fairly recent tradition that gained popularity during the Second World War. “The use of rings as a symbol of everlasting love enshrined in marriage can be traced back thousands of years. But not so much for men,” says Peter Crump on Greatbritishwedding.co.uk. The custom became popular when U.S. soldiers began to wear them:”They were happy to make public their commitment to their wife by the wearing of a public symbol that declared that commitment to all,” Mr. Crump says.
What are the reasons a modern man wears a wedding band?
“The modern man may consider it his duty to choose to make the same public marital statement as his wife will,” says Mr. Crump.”And his wife may well consider it a condition of the marriage that he do so. After all, in these days of equality, if she is prepared to make a statement then should he not do so as well?”
Christopher Furlong/Getty Images
Kate Middleton in Wales.
So, why must Kate wear a ring even if William does not?
“Despite the fact that the wearing of a ring by a woman is a matter of choice, it is in fact almost obligatory due to the fact that it is so common,”says Peter Crump on Greatbritishwedding.co.uk. ” Many women do not even consider the possibility of not wearing one. Often, however, a man usually considers the wearing of a man wedding ring very carefully.”
What about other royal couples? Did the men wear rings?
Prince Charles did not wear a wedding band when he wed Princess Diana, though he began wearing one after marrying Camilla. Prince Edward and Prince Andrew wear a signet rings bearing their coat of arms instead of a wedding band, reports Us Magazine.