Why Does King Charles Wear His Wedding Ring On His Pinky Finger?

He's the only royal who does it

Prince Charles

by Katie Holloway |
Updated on

As King Charles swears on the bible at his Coronation ceremony today, all eyes have been on his intriguingly swollen fingers. And many people watching the big royal day at home have noticed he chooses to wear his signet wedding ring on his pinky finger, too (a stylistic quirk they have recreated in The Crown).


The King’s wedding band follows the long-standing tradition that rings for the royal family are made from Welsh gold by jewellers Clogau from the Clogau St. David’s gold mine in Dolgellau. The ring that Charles wears was gifted to him by Camilla on their wedding day in 2005, but his signet ring has a much richer history.

The signet ring, which depicts the seal of the Prince of Wales, dates back 175 years and was last worn by Charles’ uncle, Prince Edward, the Duke of Windsor. Signet rings were traditionally worn to imprint the seal in hot wax on letter or documents, but more recently depict social status. The King, who has worn his signet ring since the mid-70s, also made the unique choice to stack his wedding band beneath his signet ring, perhaps as a mark of individuality, or even simply for comfort…

King Charles' wedding and signet ring

While signet rings are traditionally worn by men of the family, Catherine, Princess of Wales, has been seen wearing the family’s coat of arms on a signet ring, while Princess Diana was actually gifted one by Prince Charles the night before their wedding in 1981. According to royal biographer Andrew Morton, she is believed to have said of the gift, 'He sent me a very nice signet ring the night before to Clarence House, with the Prince of Wales feathers on and a very nice card that said: "I'm so proud of you and when you come up I'll be there at the altar for you tomorrow. Just look 'em in the eye and knock 'em dead."'

Many of the male members of the royal family have opted out of wearing a traditional wedding band; Prince William, Prince Andrew, and Prince Edward all went without. However, the world witnessed Meghan Markle place a wedding band on Prince Harry's ring finger and the Duke of Sussex has been seen wearing it ever since they married in 2018. Harry chose a textured platinum band for his wedding ring, a break from the traditional Welsh gold favoured by other members of his family.

READ MORE: This Is Why Prince William Never Wears A Wedding Ring

READ MORE: Queen Elizabeth II’s Jewellery And The Significance Behind Her Favourite Pieces

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