Two days after Prince Harry addressed the Palace forbidding him from wearing his military uniform during Queen Elizabeth II’s final vigil despite his decade of service, the Palace had a change of heart and is now permitting the Duke of Sussex to wear his uniform to the ceremony Saturday night.
Royal reporter Omid Scobie confirmed the update, tweeting on Thursday, “In a dramatic u-turn, palace officials have informed Prince Harry that he CAN wear his military uniform at a final vigil. On Saturday evening, Harry will join seven other grandchildren at Westminster Hall to stand in silence for 15 minutes by the Queen’s coffin,” Scobie wrote. “The reversal—first reported by The Mirror—follows Harry’s statement saying his ‘military service is not determined by the uniform he wears,’ but it is understood the Palace caved to public sentiment after thousands complained about the decision to ban him and not Prince Andrew.”
In Harry’s statement, released on Tuesday, the duke asked that attention remain on his beloved grandmother’s legacy—not on any painful developments in mourners’ dress code.
Protocol posits that working royals wear military uniforms during formal events held within the period of mourning put forth by King Charles III. But—as first reported by royal reporter Scobie—Prince Harry, who served for 10 years in the British Army, was initially not be allowed to wear his military uniform during these ceremonies. It’s unclear whether this decision came from King Charles himself or another source, per BAZAAR.com.
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CONFIRMED: I understand 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”.— Omid Scobie (@scobie) September 12, 2022
After surrendering his royal duties in 2020 to move to California with Meghan Markle, Prince Harry is not considered a working royal and had to give up his honorary military appointments. But the change in dress code caught the attention of many regardless, in part because Prince Andrew—also a non-working royal stripped of his military titles, following sexual abuse allegations made against him—will be allowed to wear his uniform at the Queen’s final vigil, “as a special mark of respect.”