Breaking tradition, senior members of the British royal family will not wear their military uniforms at the funeral of Prince Philip, to take place on April 17 at Windsor Castle.
Several members of the Royal Family hold titles in the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force, and appear in their uniforms at formal events. Their civilian dresses will be specially remarkable at the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh, who served in the Royal Navy for 12 years, including during World War II, was decorated for his services, and will be getting a military send-off.
The decision has been taken by Queen Elizabeth in a bid to save embarrassment to Prince Harry, her grandson and Duke of Sussex, and avoid potential embarrassment involving Prince Andrew, her second son and Duke of York.
Prince Harry lost his military titles after he stepped away from his royal duties last year. Protocol thus dictates that while he can still wear his medals, he can’t wear his uniform, and would have had to wear the medals on a civilian dress, making him the only senior Royal not in uniform.
Prince Harry has served in the British Army for a decade, including twice in Afghanistan. However, when he gave up his royal duties, he was stripped of his three honorary titles – Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command.
Prince Andrew, meanwhile, had to step back from public royal duties following the scandal over his friendship with sexual offender Jeffrey Epstein, and a controversial interview he later gave in his defence.
While Andrew has not been stripped of his military titles, he was due to be promoted to the rank of admiral in 2020, to mark his 60th birthday, which did not happen. He is at present honorary vice-admiral in the Royal Navy, but according to reports, wanted to wear an admiral’s uniform.
The Queen, thus, has decided no one wears uniforms.
The Queen’s son Charles, Prince of Wales; the Queen’s daughter Anne, Princess Royal; Charles’s son Prince William, Duke of Cambridge; and Charles’s brother Edward, Earl of Wessex; all hold military titles.
Military uniforms were worn at the last ceremonial royal funeral, that of the Queen Mother, Queen Elizabeth’s mother.
Prince Harry had worn the uniform of the Blues and Royals, his army regiment, at his wedding to Meghan Markle.