In the wake of Queen Elizabeth’s death last week, Buckingham Palace announced that only working royals would wear military uniforms during the series of official memorial services, meaning that Prince Harry, who served in the Army, and Prince Andrew, who served in the Navy, would not appear in military dress. On Wednesday, both Harry and Andrew wore plain morning suits when they joined King Charles III and other family members at the procession conveying the queen’s coffin from Buckingham Palace. On Saturday, Harry, Prince William, and the queen’s six other grandchildren will guard the queen’s coffin in a vigil at the Palace of Westminster, and Harry will be allowed to wear his uniform during this ceremony.
According to a palace source who spoke to People, Harry will wear the uniform “at the King’s request,” and that Harry did not request for the change to be made. In a previous statement, Harry’s spokesperson said that he was prepared to wear the morning suit for all events honoring the queen. “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 spokesperson added.
During the Saturday service, the eight grandchildren—William, Harry, Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor, and James, Viscount Severn—will stand guard by the coffin as their parents did in Scotland on Tuesday and again at the Palace of Westminster on Friday. Traditionally known as the Vigil of the Princes, the ceremony had previously not included female members of the family, but this year, Princess Anne joined her brothers. The palace source who spoke to People said that William, who was named the Prince of Wales last week, would stand at the head of the coffin, Harry would stand opposition, and their cousins will be spaced along the middle. A palace spokesperson told Reuters that the grandchildren’s spouses, including Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton, will not be present.
Despite the controversy over his connections to Jeffrey Epstein, Andrew was also given permission to wear his military uniform to the Friday ceremony. Marianne Wang, a lawyer who represented a dozen victims of Jeffrey Epstein, told the Guardian that she thought it was “beyond shameful to see Andrew being granted any form of state-sponsored honor or privilege, given his past affiliation with Jeffrey Epstein.”
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