Prince Harry and William ‘have spoken’ says Andrew Neil
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Her Majesty, who lost her husband of 73 years last Friday at the age of 99, has been forced to step in to prevent her son and grandson from sporting their uniforms tomorrow – a decision which consequently means that Harry’s brother Prince William will also be required to wear civvies. Harry returned to the UK this week, leaving his pregnant wife Meghan Markle in California along with their son Archie, where they now live.
The Duke of Sussex spent ten years in the British Army, attaining the rank of Captain by the time he resigned his commission in 2015.
In May, 2018, days before his wedding, he was given three additional titles, that of Lieutenant Commander, Major and Squadron Leader – but his controversial decision to step back from royal life last year resulted in his being stripped of them, meaning he is not entitled to wear military dress.
Writing in the Daily Mirror, Polly Hudson suggested the Queen must be “stifling an eye-roll, struggling to hold in a “Really?” when she was dragged into a petty row about outfits this week”.
More what you’d expect from the Kardashians rather than the Windsors
She said: “Squabbling over who wears what to a funeral is more what you’d expect from the Kardashians rather than the Windsors. And yet, here one is.”
The Queen would undoubtedly prefer to say goodbye to Philip in private, without the world watching, Ms Hudson said, but would nevertheless, put “duty before self”.
Ms Hudson added: “Meanwhile, stage left, Prince Harry – who had to give up his honorary military titles post Megxit – reportedly let it be known that he still wanted to wear the Blues and Royals dress uniform to the funeral.
“He was last seen in this on his wedding day, proving that he’s learnt nothing about the fashion faux pas of outfit repeating from his stylish wife, but let’s not focus on that now.
“If Harry was banned from wearing this, because he technically no longer had the right to, he would be the only senior royal not in uniform.
“He would stand out like an even sorer thumb than he’s going to anyway.”
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Meanwhile the problem presented by Prince Andrew, who has also stepped back from public life, is possibly even more thorny, given unlike his nephew he has not been stripped of his military titles, Ms Hudson pointed out.
The Duke of York’s involvement is highly problematic, given he is facing searching questions about his friendship with American financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, who committed suicide in jail last year.
Ms Hudson said: “The rank that Andrew had reached in the Navy when he retired in 2001 was Commander.
“He was made an honorary Vice-Admiral in 2015 and was due to be made a full honorary Admiral on his 60th birthday in 2020, but obviously those plans were quickly shelved.
“So what did Andrew reportedly want to wear to his father’s funeral on Saturday? The full Admiral get up.
“A position he hadn’t earned, even honorarily. It would make just as much sense for him to rock up in a Superman costume, or an Elsa from Frozen dress.”
Widespread reports have suggested the Queen issued her decree “in order to present a united family front”.
Ms Hudson added: “Now the male royals will be wearing mourning suits, so they will look like the Men In Black.
“Maybe they will have those memory-erasing sticks, too. Let’s hope so.
“Despite the Queen’s very best efforts, that’s the only way anyone would believe this family is united.”
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