Skip to comments.Ask Dr. Helen: Should Prince William Wear a Wedding Ring?
Posted on 04/05/2011 5:44:23 AM PDT by Kaslin
The English street is up in arms over William's choice not to wear one.
Shortwave8669 sends a question from his iPhone:
Dear Dr. Helen,
I see in the news that Prince William will not be wearing a wedding ring after marrying Kate Middleton. Is this decision different than a wife that does not take her husband’s last name?
I see many are upset at his decision but we no longer notice what I think is a similar female choice. Why? Both decisions seem of equivalent impact.
Apparently, many people are discussing the issue of Prince William’s wedding ring as evidenced by this BBC news show on the topic. In the show, the Brits on the street were asked if he should wear one, and they had a variety of answers:
“Who does he think he is?”
“In modern times, young men don’t like to wear a ring.”
“We all know he’s getting married, so what’s the difference?”
On the same show, a news panel with two men and two women weighed in. One woman thought he absolutely should wear a ring, as it is “a symbol of love” and because William is a “self-proclaimed cad.” A man on the panel said this was “rubbish, and just about women’s lib more than anything else. In modern times, it is a personal choice and if William doesn’t want to wear a ring, he shouldn’t.”
So what is the tradition of men wearing a wedding ring? According to eHow (perhaps not the most credible source, but I thought this post to be sensible), it is this:
Wedding rings for men became more accepted during World War II. Soldiers wore rings to represent commitment to wives at home. Today, some men choose to wear or forgo wedding rings for various professional or cultural reasons. Some men wear wedding rings, like women, to represent the commitment they have made. Other men choose not to wear rings because they avoid jewelry or because cultural or religious traditions discourage rings for men.
I have to say: I am personally torn. On one hand I can see wearing a wedding ring as a symbol of commitment and love, but on the other I agree with the male panelist at the BBC who said it was “all about women’s lib.” Just as women used to think they were seen as possessions of men (which may or may not have been true), men are now seen as indentured servants who exist to serve women’s needs and desires.
I can understand not wanting to wear a ring; they are inconvenient, and for people who don’t like jewelry, a real pain. Or William may feel that traditionally men did not wear rings, and he likes this tradition. Who knows? As one of the panelists above at the BBC said: “It’s his personal decision.” If a woman didn’t want to wear a ring, my guess is everyone would say: “You go, girl!” — just as they would if the woman did not want to take her husband’s name. That was tradition, so women decided to break it.
So can William. “You go, boy,” and don’t let anyone tell you how to live your life or interfere in your marriage, even if you are the potential king of England.
What do you readers think: ring or no ring? Do you wear one or not?
Does it matter? Everyone but the dead on earth will know he’s married!
One can argue that the royal family are a source of revenue. They cost about $60 million a year. Tourism is about $122 billion a year.
If the Windsors account for even half of one percent of those tourism revenues, they've paid their way.
Also, the Crown Estate is theoretically the property of the royal family (though not the property of any specific monarch) and it contributes about $350 million a year to the treasury.
I’ve heard the argument that the royal family are ultimately a source of revenue. I wouldn’t know enough to argue either way, but I wouldn’t doubt it.
However, the royal’s draw is still based on the tourist’s appreciation of centuries-old traditions. Could the US establish a royal family today and enjoy the same tourism benfit? Obviously not; a week-old monarchy would be a joke, even if a super-cool person like myself were made honorary king of the USA.
Like I said, it’s not my business what the Windsors do; I just think it’s not a good move for them to shun English tradition, since they represent England and that’s ultimately what keeps the money flowing their way.
When I see men who work with their hands, I tell them they shouldn’t wear rings at work. The new carbide rings make me shudder, the can’t be cut off with traditional ring cutters.
That's me all over, baby.
I stopped wearing my ring after I saw a man’s finger ruined when he was jumping out of the back of an LMTV and it got caught. Bent the ring down into a cutting edge.
I have the same problem with my fingers swelling up, so I have stopped wearing any rings.
Most EMTs carry jewelry saws in their emergency vehicles for precisely this purpose. Also, carbide rings can be cracked.
I’m no expert, but maybe the rings were used in the wedding ceremony, but not traditionally worn by men on a daily basis afterwords?
Our ring cutters have carbide blades, not much use on carbide rings. Just how do you crack a carbide ring without injuring the finger? This is a real question because it is only a matter of time before I will have to do it.
Helen draws a false parallel, IMO. Surely the female version of whether or not to wear a wedding ring is-—whether or not she wears a wedding ring. They can do it both or either as an obligation and obligatory symbol or as a choice and an option. If it’s an option and she wants to but he doesn’t, so be it—but it seems very much to be the couple’s choice.
Jewelers' saws have industrial diamond blades.
Just how do you crack a carbide ring without injuring the finger?
A vise has been used in some cases. Cracking is apparently more dangerous for the eyes than the finger. I have no direct firsthand knowledge of the vise technique.
OK, I googled it and see there are instructions on cracking a carbide ring. I just need to buy a vice grip to leave at work and hope that the technique works when I try it.
I heard about another emergency room that had a deal with a local dentist who would cut off the rings with his diamond drill.
The Book of Common Prayer was largely written for a pretty wealthy stratum of society.
I would guess that a sizeable percentage of the population simply could not afford wedding rings.
But I would expect that those Anglicans who could afford them wore them.
I would also expect that Nonconformists (i.e. Calvinists, Puritans, Quakers, etc.) who rejected the Prayer Book would have eschewed such rings as part of a hated ritual.
I would also point out that until the heyday of George Brummell in the 1810s, men generally wore quite a bit of jewelry. It was due to Brummell's influence as an arbiter of fashion that jewelry for men became uncommon.
Could you post a link? Thanks
Yep, rings are clearly a needless harzard when working construction and similar activities. My father never wore his ring while on the job.
I worked with a guy that hopped out of the back of a pickup truck one weekend; something caught his ring and it peeled all the flesh off his finger - turned it inside out, basically. He had a larege, wierd bandage with metal wires running thru his finger, for a long time. It healed well enough for him to keep his finger, but with limited mobility.
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