As mourning continues nationally and through the royal family, Prince Harry was seen not wearing his military uniform as he arrived with the rest of the family at his grandmother’s funeral.
Queen Elizabeth II was laid to rest Monday with family, friends and foreign dignitaries in attendance, with the whole world watching.
And what they noted was that Harry's military uniform was nowhere to be seen - an answer to a question that had been hanging over the family since the queen passed.
Harry's Uniform Was Conspicuously Absent this Week
Prince Harry is the Duke of Sussex and is 38 years old. He appeared at his grandmother’s funeral ‘somber’ when he arrived at Westminster Hall and went on to London’s Westminster Abbey on Monday, September 19th, 2022. He was seen paying his respects with the rest of his family.
He was seen wearing a normal suit, as his father, King Charles III and Harry's brother Prince William were seen wearing their military uniforms.
Queen Elizabeth II passed away at her Balmoral estate in Scotland on September 8th, 2022 at the age of 96 years old. The UK had entered a national mourning period within the days of leading up to her state funeral. This was the first royal funeral held at Westminster Abbey since the 18th century. The Queen’s coffin traveled from Scotland to London with formal events as her eldest son who is 73 years old took the throne.
Controversies Over Military Uniforms
During the finalization of planning the funeral for the Queen, Buckingham Palace stated that Prince Andrew was granted the permission to wear his military uniform as a mark of respect to his late mother. He is just 62 years old and he served more than two decades in the Royal Navy before he stepped away from his public and royal duties back in 2019 as he was accused of sexual assault during that year by the woman named Virginia Roberts Giuffre.
The lawsuit was finally settled back in February which was one month after Andrew was stripped of all duties and royal aspects.
Prince Harry stepped down by choice back in 2020 and moved to the United States in the state of California with his wife, Meghan Markle. His three honorary military titles — Captain General Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington and Commodore-in-Chief of Small Ships and Diving — were no longer honored as he left.
Due to all of this, Harry was not extended the same permission to wear his uniform in honor of the Queen.
A spokesperson noted, “[Prince Harry] will wear a morning suit throughout events honoring his grandmother. His decade of military service is not determined by the uniform he wears and we respectfully ask that focus remain on the life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”
Harry was said to have “come to terms with not wearing uniform on these occasions” amid his ups and downs with his family, a source exclusively told Us Weekly. “Whilst that’s disappointing in some senses, he’s just grateful to be present and honoring the queen. At the end of the day, it’s only a uniform.”
This past Wednesday, during the Queen’s leaving from Buckingham Palace, Andrew and Harry did not wear their military uniforms. They wore their medals attached to their black suit jackets and were seen not saluting the national memorial.
After much back and forth, Harry was eventually allowed to wear his uniform while standing vigil with his brother at Westminster Hall on Saturday, September 17. He stood guard alongside William, but eagle-eyed onlookers noticed a difference in the princes’ military garb. While William’s epaulet featured the letters “ER” — the initials of their late grandmother — Harry’s did not.
While they can say it's "just a uniform," Harry was devastated by the initials' removal and it was clear that the whole thing felt like one more loss to the erstwhile Prince in his shared time of mourning.