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Why isn’t Prince Harry allowed to wear a military uniform at the Queen’s funeral?

Despite serving in wartime Harry, along with Prince Andrew, will not be authorised to wear military uniforms due to strict royal protocol.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 14:  Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Prince William, Prince of Wales,  Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex walk behind Queen Elizabeth II's coffin is taken in procession on a Gun Carriage of The King's Troop Royal Horse Artillery from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall on September 14, 2022 in London, England. Queen Elizabeth II will lay in state until the early morning of her funeral. 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 Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Samir HusseinGetty

There are only two current members of the royal family that have served in the armed forces during wartime: princes Andrew and Harry. The former served during the Falklands war in the 1980s against Argentina while Harry served in the 2000s during the war in Afghanistan. However, neither of them will be permitted to wear their military uniforms at the Queen’s funeral while other family members will, despite some only having honorary roles in the military.

This is due to royal protocal that demands only working royals can wear military get-up at the funeral. Andrew stepped back from royal duties in 2019 after public outcry surrounding his relationship with disgraced paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, who he kept contact with even after Epstein’s imprisonment.

Harry, on the other hand, stepped back from royal life voluntarily in 2020 to better focus on his young family. Despite having his honorary titles stripped he remains a Captain in the army after achieving the rank.

“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,” Harry’s spokesperson added.

How and where did the Duke of Sussex serve?

Prince Harry, also known by his title as the Duke of Sussex, served in the British Army for 10 years. He completed two tours of Afghanistan and qualified as a helicopter commander. He retired from the Army in 2015 where he was known as Harry Wales due to being the son of the then-Prince of Wales, Charles III.

Harry’s brother, William served in the army but in non-combat roles. He was a lieutenant in the Household Cavalry before transferring to the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 2009.