Prince Harry Spotted In London, But One Key Detail Was Missing-- His Wedding Ring!

Prince Harry has apparenlty returned from his honeymoon, and he's made his first solo appearance out and about in London. The Duke of Sussex was seen walking down the street to the gym on Thursday, all by himself. One thing some eagle-eyed photographers were quick to point out was that the prince wasn't wearing a wedding ring.

Harry has been very busy the last three weeks. He married Meghan Markle on May 19, with people around the world tuning in to watch the wedding. He and his new bride appeared together for the first time as a married couple at a birthday party for his father, Prince Charles. Then Harry and Meghan were off on their honeymoon, where they spent some time out of the limelight.

When Harry was spotted yesterday, it confirmed that the couple were back to business, but the absence of the wedding ring was puzzling.

Throughout history, men in the royal family never used a wedding ring. Tradition held for the longest time that usually only the woman receives the ring.

The truth is, this is not just a thing with the royals. Wedding rings for men are a fairly recent development in history. Women have been getting them for centuries-- there is evidence they were given to women in Ancient Egypt, Rome and Greece. It was a sign that a woman was taken, and off limits to suitors.

These sexist traditions began to change, however, with a ring eventually being seen as more of a token of love and a symbol of a couple's union. Somewhere around World War II, men began wearing wedding rings as well as a precious symbol of their spouse and home life. With that, the popularity of men wearing wedding rings began to grow.

Within a few decades, it became customary for a couple to exchange rings, rather than the women being the only person to receive one.

Everyone knows, though, that when it comes to change, the royal family is usually pretty slow to catch on. Even after wedding rings for men became popular, most royal men still opted out. When Queen Elizabeth II married Prince Philip, he gave her a ring, but she did not give one to him.

In recent decades, the trend has shifted. Now, as it stands, it's up to the royal groom as to whether or not he wants a ring. Prince Charles exchanged rings with Princess Diana, and after his divorce it was noticed that he stopped wearing it. He then exchanged rings again with Camilla Parker-Bowels.

One exception is Prince William, who opted out of getting a wedding ring. Reports from the palace say that William simply doesn't like to wear jewelry, so on his wedding day it was only Kate Middleton who got a ring.

When Prince Harry and Meghan wed last month, the couple opted to exchange rings. Harry was sporting a platinum wedding band after the ceremony, and at his father's party. However, he's already taken it off, it seems.

Harry and Meghan fans don't have to worry-- it's not likely that the marriage is already in trouble. More likely there was a simpler explanation, like he didn't want it to slip off at the gym.

Source: Cosmopolitan
Photos: Cafe Mom, DOD News, Northern Ireland Office/Flickr

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