William and Kate look relaxed in first public outing since Harry’s book release
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Kate Middleton, 41, and Prince William, 40, travelled to Liverpool just one day after their children returned to school. The Prince and Princess of Wales opened the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital and delighted fans with selfies and their matching outfits.
She accessorised her look with her Mulberry Amberley bag and sapphire earrings. However, in some pictures, it was clear that Kate was not wearing her engagement ring.
During part of the royal visit, which lasted several hours, Kate removed two of her most precious accessories, her engagement ring and her eternity ring.
While Kate’s Welsh gold wedding band was clearly visible on her fourth finger, her 12-carat sapphire engagement ring and her Eclipse diamond eternity ring, made from 18-carat white gold by Annoushka, were absent.
Why did Kate remove her engagement ring?
Kate’s reason for removing the bands was down to health and safety. It’s not the first time Kate has removed her precious jewels for a hospital visit.
In 2020, when she visited the Evelina children’s hospital, she appeared without both bands, choosing instead to solely wear her wedding ring.
Two years earlier, when she spent time with the children at Great Ormond Street, she did the same.
At the time, Kensington Palace shared that Kate had taken off her accessories because she was visiting the children’s wards, and, as such, it was important for the royal to remove any potential hygiene hazards.
How much is Kate’s engagement ring worth?
Jewellery experts at Angelic Diamond’s analysed search volumes, images and the history of the Royal Family’s jewellery collections to give expert valuations, and determine the most popular engagement rings as well as the most iconic pieces overall.
Kate’s engagement ring, worth an incredible £400,000, is the most expensive engagement ring belonging to the Royal Family, as well as the most popular with the public amassing an incredible 9,120 searches a month.
The Princess’ engagement ring, formally owned by the late Princess Diana and inspired by a brooch that has been passed through the family, is a 12-carat oval sapphire surrounded by a halo of 14 solitaire diamonds.
Sapphires are a favourite of the royals’, thanks to the belief that they protect from harm, negative energies, and bad spirits, as well as being an apparent antidote for poison.
Interestingly, Princess Diana’s engagement ring belonged to Prince Harry when she passed, however, the two Princes reportedly agreed that whoever proposed first would get the ring, leading to Prince William giving the ring to Kate in November 2010.
The ring isn’t the most expensive piece of jewellery linked to Kate’s marriage to Prince William, however.
The study also looked at some of the most iconic pieces of jewellery owned by the family, finding that the Cartier Halo tiara worn by Kate for her wedding is worth an incredible £1.6million.
Featuring 739 brilliant-cut diamonds, 149 baguette diamonds and being worth 100 carats, it’s no surprise this piece comes with a hefty price tag.
Diamond expert, Maxwell Stone from Steven Stone has commented on the occasions when Kate and other royals do not wear their engagement rings.
He said: “With the exception of Queen Letizia, who hasn’t been seen with her sophisticated engagement ring since 2012, it’s incredibly rare to see one of the royal ladies without their precious gem.
“A keen sportswoman, Kate Middleton has an active lifestyle, so it’s a shame that she has to remove her gorgeous sapphire to participate in events.
“Although sapphires are an extremely durable gemstone, Kate’s boasts both sentimental and monetary value, so she wouldn’t want to risk damaging it.”
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