Why Kate Middleton Isn't Wearing Her Wedding and Engagement Rings in Photo

After this story was published, multiple photo agencies recalled the above image citing an "editorial issue" and "post-publication review" as reasons. The Associated Press issued the most detailed description, saying that "at closer inspection, it appears that the source has manipulated the image. No replacement will be sent."

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Kate Middleton later issued a personal apology for editing the Mother's Day photograph. “Like many amateur photographers, I do occasionally experiment with editing. I wanted to express my apologies for any confusion the family photograph we shared yesterday caused. I hope everyone celebrating had a very happy Mother’s Day,” the message read. It was signed “C” for Catherine, indicating that it was a personal message from the Princess.

In honor of Mother's Day in the UK, Kensington Palace shared a new photo of Kate Middleton, the first official image of the Princess of Wales released since her abdominal surgery in January.

The picture, which was taken by Prince William earlier this month, shows Kate surrounded by her three children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis. It was accompanied by a brief note thanking the public for their support as she recovers.

"Thank you for your kind wishes and continued support over the last two months. Wishing everyone a Happy Mother’s Day," wrote the Princess. She signed the note with her initial, "C".

In keeping with Kensington Palace's original stance that they will not be providing health updates unless something significant changes, the message did not offer any additional details on Kate's recovery or when she may make her next public appearance. Previously the Palace said, "Based on the current medical advice, she is unlikely to return to public duties until after Easter."

Kate appears relaxed in the photo, wearing skinny jeans, chunky lace-up boots, and a waxed jacket over a turtleneck sweater. Notably, she is not wearing any jewelry; the Princess opted to go without her wedding and engagement rings for the picture.

When asked about why she isn't wearing her rings, Kensington Palace did not comment. The Princess was at home when the picture was taken by her husband.

a closer look at kate's wedding band and engagement ring, taken on her wedding day
A closer look at Kate’s wedding band and engagement ring, taken on her wedding day.WPA Pool - Getty Images

It is possible Kate took off her Welsh gold wedding band ahead of her surgery, as is common practice, and has yet to return it to her finger due to swelling or another aspect of her recovery.

Kate does not always wear her engagement ring, the iconic diamond and sapphire heirloom, which once belonged to Princess Diana. She often removes it during engagements involving physical activity or sports, such as in 2022, when she took part in a sailing race with team Great Britain.

the duchess of cambridge joins the 1851 trust and the great britain sailgp team in plymouth
Kate, without her engagement ring, as she takes part in a sailing race with the Great Britain SailGP Team.Max Mumby/Indigo - Getty Images

Notably, when engaging with medical staff or visiting hospitals, like the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, Kate also removes her ring to avoid it being a health and safety or hygiene hazard.

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