Prince Harry has addressed recent reports that he is not allowed to wear military uniform to the Queen's funeral next Monday, September 19, despite having served 10 years in the army and touring Afghanistan twice.
A rule is in place preventing any non-working royals from wearing uniform to events, however an exception is being made for Harry's uncle, Prince Andrew (who is also no longer a senior working member of the family following accusations - that he has strenuously denied - that he slept with an underage victim of sex trafficking), when he guards the Queen's coffin during the Vigil of the Princes. He will be joined by Prince Edward, Princess Anne and the newly proclaimed King Charles III.
As a general rule, veterans are no longer permitted to wear their uniforms once they're no longer on active duty, as they are then classed as civilians. Royals with military titles, however, are able to.
A statement shared by royal reporter, Omid Scobie, who authored the Meghan and Harry Finding Freedom biography, makes it clear that the prince is very keen for the conversation to remain focussed on the life and loss of his grandmother, as opposed to what he will - or won't - be wearing next week.
The statement, attributed to a Sussex spokesperson, also stresses that Prince Harry's links to the army are no less strong due to him not being able to wear a uniform for the momentous and deeply sad occasion.
'Sussex spokesperson: "[Prince Harry] will wear a morning suit throughout events honouring 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",' the tweet reads.
Sussex spokesperson: “[Prince Harry] will wear a morning suit throughout events honouring 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.”
— Omid Scobie (@scobie) September 13, 2022
This isn't the first time that Prince Harry's military uniform and service have been called into question in relation to a sombre event either: last year, following the passing of his grandfather, Prince Philip, King Charles' youngest son also attended the event in a morning suit, rather than military uniform.
The dress code for the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral was reportedly changed - by the Queen - at the last minute, and nobody wore uniform. Traditionally, men in the Royal Family would adopt military uniforms for such an event, however it was said that new dress code was implemented due to Harry having his honorary military titles revoked once he stepped down from his senior working role in the family.
Those titles were gifted to him by the Queen, as opposed to garnered during his decade of service, meaning he would no longer be permitted to wear a uniform. Ex-servicemen and women are, however, able to wear their medals with pride to funerals, whilst donning a traditional morning suit or otherwise.
Our thoughts are with the Royal Family during this very sad time.
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