It’s a rare day when Kate Middleton steps out without her engagement ring! The Duchess was recently photographed on an official outing to visit young patients at Great Ormond Street Hospital on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. But, her iconic diamond and sapphire ring (once worn by the late Princess Diana) was noticeably missing from her striking ensemble.

However, People reported that the royal mom had a good reason to leave the sparkler at home. Since she was visiting a hospital, she made it a point to adhere to their strict rules on jewelry. She was there for the opening of the hospital’s Mittal Children’s Medical Centre, which will provide accommodations for patients and their families. She didn’t wear her engagement ring out of respect to the hospital’s policy on minimal jewelry.

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Kate without her ring on Jan. 17. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

The 36-year-old royal was required to wash her hands thoroughly before touring the hospital’s wards and treatment facilities. So, it made sense to only wear her wedding band to keep her engagement ring from getting lost (or ruined). But, it’s totally understandable why her fans noticed that the ring was missing. It is a gorgeous ring with 14 solitaire diamonds surrounding a 12-carat oval blue sapphire set in 18-karat white gold. When contrasted with her much simpler gold wedding band, it’s easy to spot the difference.

It’s important to note that her wedding ring isn’t without its own historical ties. The gold wedding ring is a Welsh band which is an 88-year-old tradition going all the way back to Elizabeth Bowes Lyon and the future George VI. And the ring was made from gold with enough left over for the weddings of Queen Elizabeth in 1947, the late Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, and Princess Diana. So Kate is following in the tradition of many royal women with her simpler wedding band. What a beautiful tradition!

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