Why Prince Harry And Andrew Won't Wear Military Uniforms At Queen Elizabeth's Funeral

During special ceremonies and events, working members of the royal family are either entitled to or must wear their military uniforms. During the period of royal mourning following the death of the queen, however, things will look a little different. According to Harper's Bazaar, a number of events honoring the queen will take place before and after her funeral on September 19, 2022. All of these events require working members of the royal family who hold military rank to wear their official military uniforms, while everybody else will wear black as usual. 

There will be two notable exceptions to this rule: Prince Andrew and Prince Harry will not be allowed to wear their uniforms to any of the official services. Prince Andrew, the queen's second son, spent over two decades in the Royal Navy and even participated in the 1982 Falklands War against Argentina (via People Magazine). However, Queen Elizabeth II stripped him of all his military titles and Royal patronages in January 2022 after a lawsuit for sexual assault and battery was filed against him in the U.S., according to People

Although Prince Andrew is no longer allowed to perform any public duties and will not be allowed to wear his former uniform to any of the various events organized, he was granted an exception to wear his uniform for the queen's final vigil (via Harper's Bazaar). This will come as a blow for Prince Harry, who was not granted this special exception. 

Giving up royal duties has consequences

Prince Harry served for a decade in the British Army and completed two tours in Afghanistan. After retiring, he continued to work with army veterans and wounded soldiers through charity projects and the founding of the annual Invictus Games, which allows injured military personnel to compete in sporting events (via Marie Claire). But all that ended in 2020, when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex made the decision to move to California. In early 2021, the palace then announced that as part of their exit from their life as working royals, Harry would be stripped of all his military titles and royal patronages, including the title of captain-general of the Royal Marines; perhaps more painful (per Newsweek). 

While this means Prince Harry is not allowed to wear his uniform just as Prince Andrew isn't, the difference is that he has not been granted an exception like his uncle, according to Harper's Bazaar. This also means that while Prince William will be wearing his uniform to all formal events — including the vigil at Westminster Hall, the religious service at St. Giles' Cathedral, and the funeral service — Prince Harry will be forced to wear a suit and nothing else (per Page Six). 

The decision has led to disappointment among royal fans, who believe that Prince Harry — who actively served on the front lines defending the country — is being unfairly denied a chance to honor his grandmother as a full royal member (via Page Six).