Prince Harry Reacts to Funeral Dress Code: 'Military Service Is Not Determined by the Uniform'

·3 min read

Prince Harry will not be wearing his military uniform to the upcoming funeral of Queen Elizabeth.

The spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex, 37, tells PEOPLE in a statement that he "will wear a morning suit throughout events honoring his grandmother."

"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 adds.

Prince Harry, who served in the British Army for 10 years and was deployed to Afghanistan twice, lost his three honorary military titles (Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command) after he and wife Meghan Markle stepped back from their senior royal roles in March 2020.

Buckingham Palace confirmed Monday that at the five major ceremonial events leading up to and including the Queen's state funeral, only working members of the royal family who hold military rank will wear military uniforms.

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prince harry, queen elizabeth
prince harry, queen elizabeth

Karwai Tang/WireImage; Victoria Jones - Pool/Getty Prince Harry (L); Queen Elizabeth

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While King Charles IIIPrince WilliamPrincess Anne and Prince Edward are expected to step out in traditional regalia for the mourning events, the Queen's son Prince Andrew and grandson Harry will not, as they are no longer senior working royals.

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The Queen's three other children wore their military finery for the Service of Thanksgiving at St. Giles' Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland, on Monday. Next week, they will sport the garb again at the procession, prayer service, vigil and state funeral for the late monarch at London's Westminster Abbey on September 19, followed by a Committal Service at St. George's Chapel at Windsor Castle, where she'll be laid to rest.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex with Prince Andrew, Duke of York
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex with Prince Andrew, Duke of York

Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Prince Harry and Prince William

Though Andrew, 62, will be seen in suits for the remainder of the lead-up ceremonies, a special exception has been made for him to wear a military uniform at the final vigil as a sign of respect for his mother and monarch, who "peacefully" died at age 96 on Thursday.

Prince Andrew spent 22 years in the Royal Navy, serving as a helicopter pilot in the Falklands War in 1982. He was stripped of his military titles and royal patronages in January after he was accused of sexual assault by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a victim of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's former ring.

The decision on uniforms differs from Prince Philip's funeral at Windsor Castle in April 2021, when Buckingham Palace announced that no senior royal family members would wear traditional military uniforms.

However, Queen Elizabeth's funeral will differ from her husband's as Philip's service was scaled back to a ceremonial royal funeral — not a state funeral — due to COVID-19 concerns.

The service was in line with England's COVID guidance at the time, capped to a 30-person limit of close family and friends.

"Ironically, it is probably how he would have liked," former palace spokeswoman Ailsa Anderson told PEOPLE of what Philip would have thought of how it all panned out. "No fuss, no bother. Right through his life, he never knew what all the fuss was about."