BY: GREGORY KATZ
LONDON – Prince William is giving up his bachelor status to take a bride, but a palace official said Thursday that he will not be wearing a wedding ring.
His fiancee, Kate Middleton, plans to wear a wedding ring made of rare Welsh gold, a long-standing royal family tradition dating back nearly 90 years, after the couple marry on April 29 at Westminster Abbey.
A spokeswoman for Prince William who spoke on condition of anonymity because of palace policy said these decisions represent the royal couple’s personal wishes.
She said details about the design of Middleton’s wedding ring, and the source of the actual Welsh gold used to fashion it, will be released before the wedding.
Welsh gold, prized for its quality and scarcity, had been used in royal weddings since 1923 and has been worn by Queen Elizabeth II, and the late Princess Diana.
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Traditionally gold from a nugget from the Clogau Gold mine was used, but the mine has been closed and only a sliver remains.
However, the British Royal Legion gave the queen a small quantity of Welsh gold in the 1980s for incorporation into wedding rings, and it is possible this may be used, as it was for the 2005 wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla.
Charles wears his ring under his larger signet ring, so many casual observers believe he does not wear a wedding band.
There is still no word about the design of Middleton’s wedding dress, or about the menus and wine selection for the two receptions that will follow the ceremony.
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