Queen Elizabeth funeral: Military uniforms banned for Prince Harry, Prince Andrew

The Duke of York and Prince Harry have been told they cannot wear military uniform at the Queen’s funeral and ceremonial events leading up to it.

Only working members of the royal family will be permitted to wear military dress.

One exception has been made for Prince Andrew – when he joins his brothers and sister for a final vigil over their mother’s coffin in Westminster Hall as a “mark of respect” for the Queen.

The decision has been made following an extraordinary family row around the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral last year.

The Mail exclusively revealed that behind the scenes Andrew demanded to be allowed to wear his uniform as an honorary vice-admiral of the Royal Navy, despite being forced to stand down from public life over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal.

Camera IconPrince Harry lost his entitlement to wear a military uniform when he quit as a working royal to move to America. Credit: Anwar Hussein/PA

Andrew paid out millions to one of Epstein’s victims, Virginia Giuffre, formerly Roberts, who accused the duke of raping her when she was 17 — accusations he denied.

Around the time of the late Prince Philip’s funeral, Andrew even went to his mother to ask her to back him in the uniform row as she prepared to say goodbye to her beloved husband.

After the Mail’s story broke, it was announced that all senior royals would wear morning suits in order to deflect the row – a ruling which was at odds with naval hero Prince Philip’s wishes.

Prince Andrew, Duke of York (in suit) follows the procession of the coffin of Britain's late Queen Elizabeth II from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles' Cathedral accompanied by members of the royal family in Edinburgh.
Camera IconPrince Andrew, Duke of York (in suit) follows the procession of the coffin of Britain’s late Queen Elizabeth II from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St Giles’ Cathedral accompanied by members of the royal family in Edinburgh. Credit: ADAM VAUGHAN/EPA

The Duke of Sussex, meanwhile, lost his entitlement to wear a military uniform when he quit as a working royal to move to America.

This time King Charles has moved decisively at the earliest opportunity, ruling that only working members of the Royal Family will be allowed to wear military uniform at the five ceremonial events during the period of mourning, Palace sources confirmed.

It is understood that “no one wanted uncertainty”, so a “policy decision” was taken on the issue early on.

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The monarch, the Duke of Cambridge, the Earl of Wessex and Princess Anne all hold honorary roles with multiple regiments across all branches of the forces.

On Monday, as they followed their mother’s coffin to the Service of Thanksgiving at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, the King wore a full day ceremonial uniform in the rank of field marshal, the Princess Royal wore a Royal Navy full ceremonial uniform in the rank of admiral and the Earl of Wessex sported the Blues uniform of the honorary royal colonel of the Wessex Yeomanry.

Prince Andrew wore his morning suit with medals and decorations.

Prince Harry won’t be in uniform for the Queen’s funeral.
Camera IconPrince Harry won’t be in uniform for the Queen’s funeral. Credit: Anwar Hussein/PA

But the King’s decision also means that Prince Harry, as a non-working royal, will be in a morning suit later in the week and for Monday’s funeral like his Falkland hero uncle.

But he will be able to wear his medals, including the two he earned as a result of tours of Afghanistan during a decade of service in the military.

By contrast, his brother, the new Prince of Wales, will be in full military dress.

In their uniforms on the Buckingham Palace balcony.
Camera IconIn their uniforms on the Buckingham Palace balcony. Credit: Anwar Hussein/PA

Prince Andrew will be permitted to wear uniform on one occasion – the final vigil in Westminster Hall – as a “final mark of respect” for his late mother.

It is likely to be the full military dress uniform of a vice-admiral of the Navy, the only military rank he still holds.

That decision was made for two reasons, the most obvious being that it would look odd for Prince Andrew to be the only person not in military dress standing by his mother’s coffin.

But it is understood the King also decided to show his younger brother, who is still eighth in line to the throne, a gesture of kindness as it would be the last opportunity for him to publicly honour their mother.

Andrew has not been seen in uniform since he was forced out of public life earlier this year.

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