In mourning. Though Prince Harry attended Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on Monday, September 19, he did not don a military uniform at the event – despite having served in the British Army for a decade.
Although Harry, 38, was granted permission to wear his uniform to the Queen’s vigil for her grandkids on Saturday, September 17, the actual funeral was a different story. The reason the Duke of Sussex did not wear his uniform to the Queen’s funeral (and other events honoring her) is simple: He’s no longer a working member of the royal family.
“Only working members of the royal family will wear military uniform at the 5 ceremonial events during the #Queen’s period of mourning and State Funeral. Prince Andrew won’t wear uniform except as a ‘mark of respect’ to the Queen during the final vigil,” wrote royal expert Roya Nikkhah on Twitter.
“[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,” added a Sussex spokesperson via royal correspondent Omid Scobie.
Prince Andrew – who spent 22 years in the Royal Navy – was stripped of his military titles following his alleged ties to Jeffrey Epstein, as well as sexual assault claims made by Virginia Roberts Giuffre in 2019. A lawsuit against the Duke of York, 62, was dismissed after the disgraced royal paid Giuffre a settlement in February this year, according to CNN.
Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, first announced the decision to “step back” from the royal family in January 2020. The pair moved to California with son Archie and revealed they were expecting their second baby together – a daughter whom they named Lilibet – in February 2021.
Shortly after their pregnancy announcement, Buckingham Palace released a statement in which the couple confirmed they would “not be returning as working members of The Royal Family.”
“Following conversations with The Duke, The Queen has written confirming that in stepping away from the work of The Royal Family it is not possible to continue with the responsibilities and duties that come with a life of public service,” read the statement. “The honorary military appointments and Royal patronages held by The Duke and Duchess will therefore be returned to Her Majesty, before being redistributed among working members of The Royal Family.”
Though Harry and Meghan’s relationship with the royal family has been strained in recent years, the Duke of Sussex released a statement honoring the Queen after her death via their Archewell foundation.
“Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings—from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren,” the statement read in part. “I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between. You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over. And as it comes to first meetings, we now honour my father in his new role as King Charles III.”
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