When the Duchess of Sussex steps out of the palace and into the public, all eyes are on her. That’s why eagle-eyed fans were able to spot that Meghan Markle’s engagement ring was MIA at a recent event. But don’t panic, it’s likely all related to her pregnancy, so the ring should make a comeback very soon.
The Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry were visiting Canada House to mark Commonwealth Day when the absence of the ring was noticed, according to Town & Country. The event celebrates the community of Canadians that reside in London, according to People. And the best guess as to why Markle’s ring wasn’t part of her adornment when she and Prince Harry visited is likely due to swelling. After all, just three days earlier she had been wearing her engagement ring during an event marking International Women’s Day, as People noted.
Now, it’s totally normal for women to remove things like rings if they start to swell during pregnancy. And though she has not spoken specifically about this common struggle, Markle is well into her third trimester, reportedly at seven months pregnant now, according to Cosmopolitan.
Even Kate Middleton was seen in public without her engagement ring during her pregnancy with Prince Louis, as Harper’s Bazaar reported. She wasn’t as far along as Markle is now though, so the magazine surmised that she was just honoring the limited-jewelry policy of the hospital she was visiting that day.
A doula who spoke with Harper’s Bazaar explained that sometimes, wearing rings can become dangerous as they may be more difficult to remove as the day goes on. Nobody wants to be the person at the emergency room having their wedding ring cut off. And especially if you have a stunner like Markle's that's made up of two diamonds that belonged to Princess Diana, flanking a larger stone that came from Botswana, according to E! News.
Edema — the medical name for swelling — during pregnancy can be really uncomfortable. Who can forget the photo of Kim Kardashian’s painfully swollen feet imprinted with the design of her shoes? And, more recently, Jessica Simpson's poor swollen ankles?
But swelling during pregnancy is a totally normal thing, caused by changes in the body’s chemistry, according to Today’s Parent, which reported that almost every woman will experience some swelling of the hands, ankles, feet, neck, or face. It’s the body’s shifting chemistry that initially causes fluid to flood tissues and trigger swelling. According to Unity Point Health, the body is producing those extra fluids to provide to the growing baby. But during the third trimester, which Markle is currently in, it’s also due to the size of the baby-to-be. As Unity Point Health explained, the weight from the uterus puts a lot of pressure on the veins going into the legs, which can cause blood to be forced down into the feet and ankles.
For most people, there’s no need to worry about swelling during pregnancy, aside from the need to buy comfortable shoes you can fit into. But if the swelling comes with pain or is greater in one leg than another, then it’s time for a trip to the doctor, Today’s Parent noted.
Despite the potential for swelling, Markle's pregnancy seems to be going very well. In December, she told reporters that she was feeling very good before joking that she was also feeling "very pregnant," according to Glamour.
So while under other circumstances, the disappearance of Markle’s gorgeous engagement ring might prompt some questions. But the mom-to-be's choice to leave it home this time seems perfectly understandable. Keep an eye out, that stunning rock should return soon.