NewslettersSign inAPP
spainSPAINargentinaARGENTINAchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOperuPERUlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA

UK NEWS

Why didn’t Princes Harry and Andrew wear military uniform at the Queen’s funeral?

We explain why neither the Duke of Sussex nor his uncle, Prince Andrew wore military uniform at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II

Update:
LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Prince William, Prince of Wales and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex follow behind The Queen's funeral cortege borne on the State Gun Carriage of the Royal Navy as it leaves Westminster Abbey on September 19, 2022 in London, England. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was born in Bruton Street, Mayfair, London on 21 April 1926. She married Prince Philip in 1947 and ascended the throne of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth on 6 February 1952 after the death of her Father, King George VI. 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 Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
Dan KitwoodGetty

Wednesday 8 January 2020 marked a turning point in the recent history of the British monarchy. It was on that day that Prince Harry decided, together with his wife Meghan Markle, to give up his life and work within the royal family. A decision that also had economic and personal consequences.

On the one hand, Harry was stripped of his noble titles and his military functions in British royalty. Likewise, he also assumed the fact that he would stop receiving public funds. His titles included Captain General of the Royal Marines, and he even served two frontline tours in Afghanistan. In spite of forgiving his royal and military duties, he still holds the title of Duke of Sussex after reaching an agreement with Buckingham Palace.

Related stories

It means that he is not authorised to wear the uniform in official acts, unlike his elder brother William. With one of Charles’ sons in uniform but not the other was a talking point at the funeral of the siblings’ grandmother, Elizabeth II, although Harry was granted permission to join other younger members of the royal familay, including his brother, to hold the vigil as the Queen lay in state at the weekend. Harry appeared in military uniform for the occasion but without the initials ER on his epaulettes. The ER initials are traditionally only worn by those who are ‘in service’ of the monarch. It draws attention to Harry who spent has a decade of military service under his belt.

A similar ban is in place for Prince Andrew, Charles III’s brother but for very different reasons. In January this year, Andrew was stripped of his military affiliations and royal patronages with the approval of his mother, after being linked to the Jeffrey Epstein sex scandal. Prince Andrew was not allowed to wear military uniform at the funeral of his father, the Duke of Edinburgh, despite having served in the Royal Air Force in the Falklands War.

Both have today dressed in morning suits, with the civil decorations, the Jubilees of the Queen in which they have participated.

King Charles III (left), Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Prince William (back left), Prince of Wales, and Prince Britain's Prince Harry (back right), Duke of Sussex, stand outside Westminster Abbey after the State Funeral Service.
Full screen
King Charles III (left), Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Prince William (back left), Prince of Wales, and Prince Britain's Prince Harry (back right), Duke of Sussex, stand outside Westminster Abbey after the State Funeral Service.HANNAH MCKAYGetty

Only royals are allowed to wear suits

The reason is that only active royals are allowed to wear military uniform at ceremonial events. Regarding the procession of Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin, the five protocol acts of the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II are: the religious service in St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, which took place on Last Monday, the procession of the coffin to Westminster Hall that took place on Wednesday, the vigil over the Queen lying-in-state, the funeral at Westminster Abbey and the burial service in Windsor.

King Charles, Anne, Princess Royal and Prince Andrew, Duke of York on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in London.
Full screen
King Charles, Anne, Princess Royal and Prince Andrew, Duke of York on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain's Queen Elizabeth, in London.MAJA SMIEJKOWSKAREUTERS

What does ER mean?

The royal cypher ER, which stand for Elizabeth Regina appears on the military uniforms of the army and navy as well as some clothes of royal staff. It appears as “E II R”, which represents Elizabeth II and Regina, which is the latin word for queen. The new royal cypher to be used by King Charles will be “C III R”.

The monograms of other members of the Royal Family are designed by the Lord Lyon College of Arms or Court and must then be approved by the King. All royal insignia now must be changed from royal seals, thrones, currency, stamps as well as the emblem that the military wear on their epaulettes.

Rules

To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?