Kate Middleton Spotted Without Her Ring & People Are Freaking Out

Find out why Duchess Kate chose to remove her engagement ring while visiting Great Ormond Street Hospital on Wednesday.

Kate Middleton visits the Great Ormond Street Hospital
Frank Augstein / WPA Pool/Getty Images

Find out why Duchess Kate chose to remove her engagement ring while visiting Great Ormond Street Hospital on Wednesday.

Kate Middleton visited Great Ormond Street Hospital to officially open the Mittal Children’s Medical Centre on Wednesday, January 17, but she was without one very special piece of jewelry. The Duchess of Cambridge, who is pregnant with her third child, was spotted without her engagement ring, apparently leaving the sapphire bauble at home.

Instead, Duchess Kate opted for a simple gold wedding band. Fret not, royal watchers. There’s a fairly simple explanation as to why the Duchess’ stunning engagement ring was missing from her hand. It turns out, the hospital has a policy on “minimal jewelry.”

“Since she would have to cleanse her hands thoroughly before touring the hospital’s wards and treatment areas, it is recommended to remove jewelry before entering,” People Magazine reports.

Despite tons of questions surrounding Middleton’s decision to not wear the ring (Is there trouble in her marriage? Has her pregnancy caused her fingers to swell? Did she lose the ring? Gasp!), it sounds like there’s a good reason and nothing to worry about.

It’s not often that Middleton steps out without her ring, and with all eyes constantly watching her every move, it’s no wonder that people were quick to pick up on the missing jewel. The other thing that people were keen to pay attention to, of course, was Middleton’s growing midsection. Middleton and her husband, Prince William, are expected to welcome their third child in April of this year, which means that the Duchess is about five and a half months along at this time. Although she has been wearing roomy coats to many of her recent engagements, her baby bump is finally starting to show.

During Wednesday’s outing, Middleton wore a beige colored, knee-length dress with a knee-length orange-hued, button-down coat. She completed the look with a pair of pumps. Although she was quite covered up, royal watchers were thrilled to see her tiny tummy starting to pop.

Kate Middleton at the Great Ormond Street Hospital
  Frank Augstein / WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince William and Kate Middleton have decided not to share the gender of their third baby with the ever-curious world. It seems as though everyone will have to wait until the royal baby is born at St. Mary’s Hospital in a couple of months. So far, people seem to think that the royals will welcome another boy.