Why Prince Harry and Prince Andrew did not wear military uniform at the Queen’s funeral processions


Prince Harry and Prince Andrew may be the only living members of Queen Elizabeth II’s immediate family who served in the military during the war, but strict royal protocol means they will not be wearing uniforms at the monarch’s funeral.

Buckingham Palace said only members of the royal family would wear military uniform for major ceremonial events during the Queen’s mourning period. As both Harry and Andrew have stepped back from royal duties, they will wear civilian clothes, despite being retired service members.

Unlike in the US, where veterans often wear the uniform for special occasions, retired British military personnel cannot wear the uniform unless they are on an honorary appointment and have been given permission to wear it. Instead, they wear their military medals attached to their civilian clothes.

King Charles III, his sister Princess Anne and his younger brother Prince Edward donned uniform for a service of thanksgiving at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh on Monday and a procession to Westminster Hall on Wednesday.

It is also expected to be worn for other major events marking the Queen’s death, including a vigil at Westminster Hall, a state funeral on Monday and later that day at St. Engagement to take place at George’s Chapel Windsor. Prince William, who is currently the heir to the throne, is expected to be dressed in military uniform.

Prince Andrew will not wear it except for the uniform, for any event. According to the palace, he will wear a uniform during the vigil in Westminster Hall as a special mark of respect for the Queen.

Prince Harry will wear a morning suit to events in honor of his grandmother, a Sussex spokesman said on Tuesday.

“Her decades of military service are not reflected in the uniform she wears and we respectfully ask that the focus be on the life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” the spokesman added.

Peter Phillips, Princess Anne’s son, also did not wear a uniform during Wednesday’s procession. He is not a royal worker and has not served in the military.

The debate over who does and doesn’t wear a uniform at major royal events first arose last year in the run-up to the funeral of Prince Philip – the Queen’s husband of 73 years – when some British media reported that Prince Andrew wanted to wear one. admiral’s uniform Breaking with tradition, no family members were in military uniform for the funeral, avoiding a potential embarrassment.

Prince Harry wore a uniform to his 2018 wedding.  Prince Andrew was seen in his military dress at the 2018 Trooping of Color event.

More than a year later, the debate remains a sensitive issue, particularly as Harry and Andrew are the only two of the Queen’s children and grandchildren to have fought in a war.

Prince Andrew, the Queen’s second son, served in the Royal Navy for 22 years as a helicopter pilot and instructor and later as commanding officer of HMS Cottesmore. He took part in the Falklands War. While he left active service with the Royal Navy in July 2001, he continued to wear the uniform on ceremonial occasions as a working royal due to his honorary titles.

But she stepped back from her royal duties in 2019 due to her links to disgraced financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Earlier this year, he was stripped of his military and charitable titles after a judge ruled he could proceed with a civil sexual abuse lawsuit brought against him by Virginia Giuffre. Andrew later settled the case.

Meanwhile, Prince Harry served in the British Army for 10 years. He served two tours in Afghanistan, achieved the rank of captain in 2011, and qualified as an Apache Aircraft commander. Captain Harry Wales, as he was known in the Navy, retired from the Navy in 2015.

As a working royal, he also continued to wear the uniform while attending royal ceremonies, such as when he wore the Blues and Royals Household Cavalry uniform to his wedding in 2018. She stopped wearing the uniform in 2020 after stepping back from her royal duties.

While King Charles III served six years in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, he never took part in an active war. Prince William spent more than seven years as a search and rescue pilot.

Princess Anne and Prince Edward never served in the military, but both have honorary degrees.

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