To recap, Prince Harry served in the British Army for a decade, rising to the rank of Captain and undertaking two tours of Afghanistan. But after stepping down as a senior working royal in 2020, the Royal Family has decided he is not entitled to wear his military uniform at the Queen's final vigil and will instead wear a suit.
Prince Andrew – who was stripped of several royal titles due to his involvement in the Jeffrey Epstein scandal (although he has denied any wrongdoing) – however, has been granted permission to wear his military uniform as a "special mark of respect" to Her Majesty.
"Only working members of Royal Family will wear military uniform for ceremonial events honouring The Queen over next week," royal reporter Omid Scobie tweeted, clarifying that: "Unlike Prince Andrew at final vigil, Prince Harry will NOT be allowed to wear uniform at any ceremonial events. No doubt a huge blow for the Duke of Sussex, who served for 10 years and this morning spoke of the Queen being his 'Commander-in-Chief'."
The move has caused a stir on social media, with some royal fans arguing that the decision is a fair one based on the Duke of Sussex's place within the Royal Family. Elsewhere, others felt the Duke had more than earned his right to wear the uniform – pointing out that other royals with military titles have not served in the forces.
"The decision to not allow Prince Harry to wear his military uniform during the ceremonial events honouring and memorialising Queen Elizabeth II is heartless and vindictive and petty. It cannot be justified by citing either protocol or tradition," one person tweeted, with another writing: "Seems the royal rules to deny the use of military uniform have been especially made to exclude Prince Harry. With so many royals in uniform (and medals) who never set foot in the military, the optics of this are horrible."
A third fan chimed into the conversation with: "For a man who fought for his country and had had his Granny as his CIC [Commander-in-Chief], it is not right to deny him the honour of wearing his military uniform for her burial. Prince Harry has earned this right. Even for one last time."
But not everyone was in agreement. "Prince Harry isn’t a working royal so therefore he can’t wear ceremonial uniform," one royal fan responded, as another tweeted: "Well [he] wanted out didn’t he? This is the consequence of his decision…"
Referencing Harry's first official statement since Her Majesty's death, someone else said: "Harry said in his statement just this morning that he honours his father in his new role so he needs to accept The King’s decision. He is a family member only and not a working member of the Monarchy. He hasn’t been for over 2 years after he chose to leave!"
Much the same conversation was had last year ahead of Prince Philip's funeral in April 2021. To settle the matter, the Queen decided that no members of the royal family should wear uniform. It was a break with tradition but seen as the easiest solution to the problem.
The Royal Family is yet to comment on the response from fans.
Our thoughts are with all those mourning Her Majesty's passing.
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