The Queen’s funeral: Will Prince Andrew or Prince Harry wear their military uniforms?

Protocol forbids Prince Harry and Prince Andrew, as non-working Royals, to wear military attire to ceremonies held in the Queen’s memory.

The Queen’s funeral: Why can Prince Andrew wear his uniform but Prince Harry can't?
© Max Mumby/Indigo
The Queen’s funeral: Why can Prince Andrew wear his uniform but Prince Harry can't?

As with the funeral of Prince Philip in 2021, Prince Harry will not wear military attire to any ceremony during the mourning period, despite serving ten years with the British Armed Forces. However, a small exception was made for the Duke of York.

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Prince Harry’s military career

As stated on Royal.uk, Prince Harry joined the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst in 2005 as an Officer Cadet and retired in 2015, holding the rank of Captain.

During his career, Prince Harry conducted two tours of duty in Afghanistan, in 2007/2008 and 2012/2013. Of his military career, Prince Harry said:

The experiences I have had over the last ten years will stay with me for the rest of my life.
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However, Prince Harry’s military affiliations and Royal patronages were returned to the Queen when he stepped down in 2020.

Prince Andrew’s military career

According to his page on royal.uk, Prince Andrew always wanted to be a helicopter pilot. In 1979, the Duke of York joined the Royal Navy, where he served for 22 years.

During his career, Prince Andrew was deployed as part of the Task Group to the South Atlantic to regain the Falkland Islands.

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Prince Andrew retired from the Royal Navy in 2001. Following the Virginia Giuffre lawsuit, Prince Andrew was stripped of his military affiliations and Royal patronages.

Royal Protocol

At Prince Philip’s funeral, a spokesperson for the Palace announced that no one would wear military attire. At the time, royal experts believed this was an ‘olive branch’ from the Queen to Prince Harry to help him ‘save face’. He would have been the only male Royal not to wear a military uniform.

King Charles III proclaimed that only working Royals will wear uniformsto ceremonies held for Queen Elizabeth II during the mourning period, reports Bazaar.com.

Therefore, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew will only be allowed to wear mourning suits adorned with their military medals. According to Newsweek, Prince Harry and Prince Andrew are the only living royals to have served on the front line.

In other words, neither of the Princes should be allowed to wear their uniforms at Queen Elizabeth II's funeral.

But in a surprising turn of events, royal journalist Omid Scobie reported that Prince Andrew has been given special permission to wear his uniform at the final vigil for the late Queen Elizabeth in Westminster Hall as a 'special mark of respect'.

During the final vigil, also known as Vigil of the Princes, Queen Elizabeth II's children will stand around the coffin to say their final goodbyes.

Bazaar.com reports a source confirmed the shocking news that Prince Harry has not been given special permission. Despite serving ten years with the British Armed Forces. Prince Harry referred to the Queen as his commander in chief in his tribute.

I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings— […] to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief

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