According to reports, Prince Harry will not be permitted to wear a military uniform during Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral, as only working members of the royal family will be permitted to do so.
During the ceremonial events, members of the royal family who perform duties on behalf of the crown will be allowed to wear their military uniforms. They are set to take place during the period of national mourning that will last until the queen’s funeral on September 19.
According to reports, Prince Andrew, who was stripped of his military patronages earlier this year following a sexual assault lawsuit filed against him by Jeffrey Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre, will be granted special permission by his brother the king to attend the queen’s lying-in state vigil at Westminster Hall. This decision has drawn criticism.
When Harry and Meghan Markle officially stepped down from their roles as working royals in 2021, they were stripped of their armed services patronages. This came after a year of deliberation after the couple announced their intention to seek “financial independence” and relocate to the United States.
According to reports, the prince will not attend the lying-in state.
Harry is one of only two senior members of the royal family still alive who has served in active combat. In 2007 and 2012, he served two tours in Afghanistan. Andrew, on the other hand, was a helicopter pilot during Argentina’s and the United Kingdom’s 1982 Falklands War.
Since Harry stepped down as a working royal and was stripped of his honorary military patronages, including his role as a captain-general of the Royal Marines, there has been debate about whether he can or will wear his uniform to ceremonial events.
The last time the subject was broached seriously was in April 2021, when the prince traveled from his home in Santa Barbara, California, to Windsor for his grandfather, Prince Philip’s, funeral.
It was decided that all members of the royal family would attend the funeral in morning dress, which avoided the issue of who would wear which uniform.
Harry does not have the legal right to wear a ceremonial uniform because he no longer serves in the armed forces in a personal or ceremonial capacity, according to the Uniform Act of 1894, despite having been a service member.
According to the Uniform Act, “it shall not be lawful for any person not serving in Her Majesty’s Military Forces to wear the uniform of any of those forces, or any dress having the appearance or bearing any of the regimental or other distinctive marks of any such uniform, without Her Majesty’s permission.”
According to the act, “this enactment shall not prohibit any persons from wearing any uniform or dress in the course of a stage play performed in a place duly licensed or authorized for the public performance of stage plays, or in the course of a music hall or circus performance, or in the course of any bona fide military representation.”
To circumvent the Uniform Act, Harry would most likely need the permission of his father, King Charles III, to wear the uniform at the late queen’s state funeral.
Charles is avoided intervention by deciding that only working members of the royal family will be permitted to wear military uniforms for the state funeral.
On the day of the funeral, it is expected that both Harry and Andrew will wear morning dress, as they did at Prince Philip’s funeral in 2021.