Prince Harry wasn’t wearing a military uniform when he walked behind it Queen Elizabeth IIthe coffin in procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall on Wednesday (September 14) for her laid out.
Instead, the Duke of Sussex, who served in the British Army for 10 years, wore his military medals attached to his morning suit as he walked in a procession alongside his father, the kinghis brother, the Prince of Walesand other members of the royal family.
Watched by millions, Harry was also forbidden to salute the coffin like his brother and father, and instead simply bowed his head.
But what is Prince Harry’s military uniform and why isn’t he allowed to wear it?
Here’s everything you need to know.
What is Prince Harry’s military uniform?
The British Royal Family’s dress code states that working members of the Royal Family who served in the armed forces dress in uniform for military functions, including: Trooping the ColorRemembrance Day and State Funerals.
While the royal family has plenty of military uniforms, the outfit Prince Harry is expected to wear for the wake is the Blues and Royals uniform.
The Blues and Royals (Royal Horse Guards and 1st Dragoons) is a cavalry regiment of the British Army, part of the Household Cavalry Regiment.
The colonel of the regiment is Princess Anne. It is the second highest regiment of the British Army.
Prince Harry wore the navy blue uniform to Prince William’s wedding in 2011 Kate Middleton.
Both Prince Harry and Prince William also received permission from the Queen to wear the dress version of the uniform at Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle.
Some versions of the uniform have a thick gold rope detail, with gold buttons and a white belt.
Why is Prince Harry no longer allowed to wear his military uniform?
In January 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan officially stepped down from their duties as senior members of the royal family.
Consequently, Harry was stripped of his military honors and the royal patronages of the Sussex were returned to the Queen and redistributed to working members of the Royal Family.
He told the TV presenter: “I’m hurt. But at the same time, I fully respect my grandmother’s decision.”
According to royal authors Carolyn Durand and Omid Scobie, being stripped of his military honors was “the most demoralizing aspect” of their decision to relinquish the royal family.
As a retired soldier, Harry could always wear his medals, but no longer could he wear a uniform as Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Force Commander of Royal Air Force Base Honington and Honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Small Ships and Diving Operations of the Royal Navy,” they wrote in their book find freedom.
“[It’s been] a heavy pill to swallow and the one that hurt Meghan the most testify to him. It’s the one that made Harry emotional.”
Will Prince Harry wear a military uniform for the Queen’s state funeral?
No. After a U-turn at Buckingham PalacePrince Harry will only be allowed to wear a military uniform on Saturday at a vigil with his cousins next to the Queen’s coffin, but not at the state funeral on Monday, September 19, it is believed.
The restrictions sparked outrage from some commentators, who noted that Prince Harry had completed two tours in Afghanistan.
Earlier this week, he tried to focus on his grandmother’s life rather than his appearance.
“[Prince Harry] will wear a morning suit at events honoring his grandmother. His decade of military service is not defined by the uniform he wears and we respectfully request that attention continue to be paid to the life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” his spokesperson said.
Now Prince Harry gets special dispensation to wear his uniform as a “last sign of respect”.
A royal source was quoted as saying, “Common sense has triumphed.
“It was a ridiculous situation as the Duke of Sussex has served his country and is a highly respected member of the armed forces for all he has done for veterans.
“It is important that the Queen’s grandchildren feel welcome and at ease as they mourn their beloved grandmother together.”