Why Kate Middleton wasn’t wearing her engagement ring for this outing

(Image credit: James Shaw/REX/Shutterstock)

From the editors of InStyle

Kate Middleton looked as beautiful as ever when she headed to Great Ormond Street Hospital in London on Wednesday.

The pregnant Duchess, 36, was wearing a bright red coat from high street retailer Boden. The eye-catching piece (which is still in stock!) featured frilled finishing touches along the collar, and is retailing at £220.

But there was one thing missing from her outfit - her engagement ring from husband Prince William.

(Image credit: Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock)

While she was still rocking her wedding band on her left hand, Kate decided to leave the stand-out sapphire - which once belonged to Princess Diana - at home.

Before you start getting worried that Kate's lost the ring (can you IMAGINE?), there's probably a very simple reason for its absence.

(Image credit: James Shaw/REX/Shutterstock)

It's likely down to the fact that she was visiting a hospital, as rings - particularly those with stones and other intricate details - are a potential source of bacteria.

According to guidelines issued by the Royal College Of Nursing, uniform policies should take into account items of jewellery that could compromise good hand hygiene.

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Kate Middleton's engagement ring
(Image credit: Rex Features)

Large stones can also potentially scratch patients. If wedding bands are flat, like Kate's, they're usually allowed.

Some had speculated that Kate's finger may be swollen due to pregnancy, but the ring was firmly intact when she and William, 35, visited Coventry yesterday.

We're looking forward to seeing it back where it belongs soon!