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The Reason Prince Andrew & Prince Harry Were Not Allowed Wear Military Uniforms At The Queen's Funeral

Photo: Mick Atkins | LINGTREN.COM | Shutterstock
Prince Andrew, Prince Harry

Almost two weeks after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the funeral processions are now underway as the late monarch is set to be buried at St. George's Chapel in Windsor.

The Queen's funeral saw many members of the royal family wearing traditional military uniforms as they gathered for the event, which started with a march from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey.

Among the flock were King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Edward, and Prince William, who were all wearing military dress, while Prince Harry and Prince Andrew did not.

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Why didn't Prince Andrew and Prince Harry wear traditional uniforms at the Queen's funeral?

According to Buckingham Palace, only working members of the royal family who hold military rank will wear military uniforms during the events leading up to and including the Queen's funeral.

Since both Andrew, 62, and Harry, 38, stepped away from their royal duties and are no longer working royals, they instead wore dark suits to join the procession.

Princess Anne's son, Peter Phillips, who is also not a working member of the family, stood beside Harry and Andrew in a suit as well.

Back in March 2020, Prince Harry, who had served in the British army for a decade and was deployed to Afghanistan twice, stepped back from his senior royal duties, along with his wife Meghan Markle. 

In an interview with Oprah in March 2021, Prince Harry, who moved to North America with Markle, explained that his reasons for leaving the royal family were due to a “lack of support and lack of understanding.”

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Prince Andrew was stripped of his military titles and royal duties in January 2022 after he was accused of sexual assault by Virginia Giuffre, who had been a victim of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's former ring.

Both Prince Andrew and Prince Harry also didn't wear military uniforms on September 14 during the procession with other royals from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall behind the Queen's coffin.

Despite the Palace's initial decision, they eventually granted permission for both princes to wear their uniforms once during the mourning period. 

Prince Andrew chose to wear his military dress on September 16 during a Vigil of the Princes, where he joined his siblings in standing a symbolic guard over the Queen's coffin at Westminster Hall.

The late monarch's eight grandchildren performed the same vigil the next day, with Prince Harry wearing his Blues and Royals uniform alongside his brother William.

The update reportedly came "at the King's request," according to PEOPLE, and was made without Harry requesting a change of his own. Instead, Prince Harry had been prepared to wear whatever he was asked to.

"[Prince Harry's] 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," a source told the publication.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.

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