The Real Reason King Charles Always Wears a Ring on His Pinky
Have you noticed Charles's signet ring?
When it comes to royal fashion, the women in the royal family tree tend to take the spotlight, evidenced by the late Queen Elizabeth and her brightly colored outfits, as well as Kate, now Princess of Wales, and her callbacks to Princess Diana’s classic styles.
Yet there’s one royal fashion statement that few people are talking about—but still has us puzzled: the ring King Charles III wears on his left pinky finger.
What is that ring on King Charles’s pinky?
It’s not his wedding ring, although he also wears that piece of jewelry on his left pinky. This large gold band is called a signet ring, or a gentleman’s ring, and is often worn on the pinky of one’s nondominant hand. Bloomberg reports that signet rings have been used since Old Testament times. They are engraved with a family crest or personal signature, which can reflect the owner’s social status.
Beatrice Behlen, senior curator of fashion and decorative arts at the Museum of London, told Bloomberg that members of the middle class would use signet rings to signal that they were of a higher class because they did not have coats of arms.
So if anyone has any doubt that King Charles is in fact royalty, they’d need only check for the official signet on his left hand.
How long has King Charles worn the signet ring?
The king has been photographed wearing his ring since the mid-1970s, and Princess Diana had one of her own. Since Kate Middleton’s family was granted a coat of arms before her marriage to Prince William, members of her family have also been spotted wearing signet rings bearing their crest. Signet rings are not required for the members of the House of Windsor, but they are a subtle way to boast their status and familial pride—we wouldn’t be surprised if King Charles wore it to Queen Elizabeth’s funeral.
- Bloomberg: “Everything You Need to Know About Wearing a Signet Ring”
- Hello Magazine: “Prince Charles has been wearing this one piece of jewellery for nearly fifty years – find out why”