Why Not All Members of the Royal Family Wore Military Uniforms to Queen Elizabeth's Funeral

·3 min read
Why Not All Members of the Royal Family Wore Military Uniforms to Queen Elizabeth's Funeral

Queen Elizabeth's funeral saw many members of the royal family sporting military uniforms — and some who wore suits.

Members of the royal family gathered for the late monarch's state funeral on Monday, which started with a procession from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey. While  King Charles IIIPrincess AnnePrince Edward and Prince William sported military regalia, Prince Andrew and Prince Harry did not.

Buckingham Palace previously confirmed that 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.

prince william, prince harry
prince william, prince harry

MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images Prince William and Prince Harry

Because Andrew, 62, and Harry, 38, are no longer senior working royals, the princes wore dark suits to join the procession. Peter Phillips, who walked beside his cousin Prince Harry, also wore a suit as he does not hold any military ranks.

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Prince Harry, who served in the British Army for a decade 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.

Princes at Queen Elizabeth's Funeral
Princes at Queen Elizabeth's Funeral

BBC America

The spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex told PEOPLE in a statement earlier this week 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 added.

RELATED: Prince William and Prince Harry Walk Side by Side in Procession to Queen Elizabeth's Funeral

prince william, prince harry
prince william, prince harry

MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images

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 2022 after he was accused of sexual assault by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a victim of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's former ring.

Prince Harry and Prince Andrew also didn't wear their uniforms on Wednesday, when they joined other royals in a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall behind the Queen's coffin.

Despite the decision, an exception was made for both Prince Harry and Prince Andrew to wear their uniforms once during the mourning period. Andrew wore his military garb on Friday for a Vigil of the Princes, where he joined his siblings in standing a symbolic guard over their mother's coffin at Westminster Hall.

King Charles III, Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex arrive hold a vigil beside the coffin of their mother, Queen Elizabeth
King Charles III, Anne, Princess Royal, Prince Andrew, Duke of York and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex arrive hold a vigil beside the coffin of their mother, Queen Elizabeth

DANIEL LEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty

Queen Elizabeth's eight grandchildren performed a similar vigil on Saturday, with Prince Harry wearing his Blues and Royals uniform, matching his brother William.

The update came "at the King's request," according to a palace source, and the decision was made without Prince Harry requesting a change, PEOPLE has learned. The Duke of Sussex was prepared to wear whatever was asked, PEOPLE understands, and his focus is on honoring his grandmother.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrives to hold a vigil in honour of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall on September 17, 2022 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II's grandchildren mount a family vigil over her coffin lying in state in Westminster Hall. Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrives to hold a vigil in honour of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall on September 17, 2022 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II's grandchildren mount a family vigil over her coffin lying in state in Westminster Hall. Queen Elizabeth II died at Balmoral Castle in Scotland on September 8, 2022, and is succeeded by her eldest son, King Charles III. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Chris Jackson/Getty Prince Harry

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Following the state funeral at Westminster Abbey, which will see about 2,000 leaders and royals from around the world gather to pay their respects to the Queen, another service will be held at St. George's Chapel in Windsor Castle, where Queen Elizabeth spent much of her final years.

The Queen will be buried in St. George's Chapel with husband Prince Philip, sister Princess Margaret, father King George VI and mother Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.