The reason Kate Middleton isn’t wearing her engagement ring

Kate Middleton and Prince William are social distancing in the wake of the coronavirus. In recent pictures posted to their Instagram account, @KensingtonRoyal, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge showed off their work from home setups.

Keen-eyed fans noticed that Middleton isn’t wearing her famous sapphire engagement ring that previously belonged to her mother-in-law, the late Princess Diana, in the photos. Why did she choose to leave it off?

According to Hello!, the ring was likely left off not because of any sort of marital strife — Middleton is still wearing her wedding band, after all — but because removing jewelry can help minimize the spread of coronavirus. Considering just how large Middleton’s engagement ring is, it could be a breeding ground for germs.

Should everyone remove their rings like Kate Middleton?

Rochelle Walensky, who serves as chief of the division of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, recommended the removal of rings and jewelry to USA Today. “In a situation where we are in extraordinary measures to limit COVID-19 transmission, I think removal of rings/jewelry when washing hands — or perhaps limiting their wear altogether right now — represents a wise move forward,” she said.

Ppulmonologist Nikita Desai, who works at the Cleveland Clinic, backed up Walensky’s statement. “When healthcare professionals prepare for sterile procedures such as surgery, hands must be washed free from rings, watches and jewelry,” she said. “While we are not expecting the general public to be prepared for conducting surgery, it greatly reduces the risk of spreading disease to have everyone’s hands as clean as possible.”

While this doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone should be removing their rings for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic, it certainly doesn’t hurt. Wearing just her wedding band means that Middleton doesn’t have to worry about taking off her engagement ring every time she washes her hands — which she is no doubt doing frequently, as it is one of the most effective measures we can take against coronavirus.

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