Meghan Markle’s critics think the latest split rumor is nonsense

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s relationship is under constant media scrutiny.

The two have gone through their fair share of divorce rumors (seriously — so many Sussex breakup rumors) and reportedly remain strong as ever.

Still, it has to be frustrating to be under such an intense level of scrutiny that Markle can’t make a practical fashion choice without it being interpreted as a sign of turmoil between her and Prince Harry.

Over the weekend, Markle was having a belated birthday celebration with a couple of friends. One of the friends shared a snap of the sweet occasion on Instagram, and eagle-eyed viewers immediately noticed that Markle wasn’t wearing her £156,000 (roughly $200,000) diamond engagement ring.

Naturally, some media outlets jumped on the opportunity to speculate that Markle and Prince Harry’s marriage was on the rocks, but in a surprising twist, many outlets — including the ones Prince Harry is took to court for alleged phone hacking — pointed out that this rumor was a stretch.

A relationship expert explained to The Mirror that there are a host of very practical, non-marriage-ending reasons as to why Markle opted not to wear her engagement ring that features stones from Princess Diana’s collection, ranging from “personal preference to practical reasons.”

“Meghan Markle has always had her own unique sense of style. It’s possible that her decision to change or remove the engagement ring reflects her evolving taste or desire for something different,” relationship expert Louella Anderson told Mirror US. “She’s not over the top about her jewelry and usually chooses to keep her look quite simple and classic. Taking off the ring could be her way of expressing this personal preference for a less flashy look.”

It’s also a record-breaking summer in terms of heat in California, and rings can get tight on swollen fingers in the heat. Or she could have wanted to have a more understated look. It is wild that most media outlets will jump to the most salacious conclusion whenever Markle isn’t wearing her engagement ring, but it does seem that the tabloid tides are turning in her favor, at least this one time.

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