The Duke of Sussex has been pictured in a suit rather than in military uniform for his grandmother’s funeral, and did not join his family in saluting the Queen before her funeral service.
Prince Harry and wife Meghan looked solemn as they were driven down the Mall this morning en route to Westminster Hall.
Through the window of their black Range Rover, military medals could be spotted on Harry’s suit.
Despite serving in the Army for ten years and being deployed to Afghanistan twice, Prince Harry lost the right to wear his ceremonial uniform when he stepped back as a senior working royal.
This proved controversial, with Harry said to be saddened by the decision – which also applied to Prince Andrew, who stepped back as a senior royal after accusations of sex assault.
The Duke of York, who has always denied the allegations, reached an out-of-court settlement with accuser Virginia Giuffre to avoid going to trial.
Both princes were pictured wearing their military uniform in vigils at Westminster Hall, despite not doing so in the procession of her coffin from Windsor to Buckingham Palace.
The Duke of York had reportedly been granted permission to do so as a ‘special mark of respect’ for his late mother.
There had been news reports that Prince Harry was ‘heartbroken’ to not have the initials of ER (Elizabeth Regina) on his epaulettes, despite Prince William and Prince Andrew wearing it.
The Sunday Times reported that the King had decided he could wear the uniform for the occasion – but when it arrived at Buckingham Palace, he saw the Queen’s initials had been stripped from the shoulder.
Queen Elizabeth II dead: Latest updates
- What time is the Queen’s funeral today and where is it taking place?
- Queen’s last official portrait released ahead of her funeral
- Drivers told ‘avoid central London’ with major road closures for Queen’s funeral
- Full schedule for the Queen’s funeral and committal service
Head to Metro.co.uk’s Queen Elizabeth II tag page for the latest updates, and sign Metro.co.uk’s book of condolence to Her Majesty here.
A friend told the paper he was devastated to see this, to the extent he considered wearing a morning suit to avoid the ‘humiliation’.
However, the Duke had been seen wearing a uniform without these initials before he even stepped back as a senior royal, so the apparent snub may not be what it seems.
At his own wedding to Meghan Markle in 2018, he did not wear the insignia while his brother did, which was unremarked on at the time.
People had been watching closely to see what the Duke would wear to the state funeral itself.
After he wore a morning suit as well as his medals when the Queen’s coffin was conveyed from Windsor Castle to Buckingham Palace, his spokesperson issued a terse statement.
It said: ‘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.’
While serving in the Army, Prince Harry rose to the rank of Captain and was known as Captain Wales.
Since leaving, he has kept up strong military ties and set up the Invictus Games, which aims to use the power of sport to inspire recovery, support rehabilitation and generate a wider understanding and respect for wounded, injured and sick Servicemen and women.
He had been Captain General of the Royal Marines until quitting life as a senior royal in order to move to America with his wife Meghan, at which point he was stripped of his honorary military roles.
Last Monday, Harry paid tribute to his grandmother, including the memory of the Queen attending his passing out parade in 2006 when he became an officer in the British Army.
He told of his ‘first meeting’ with his Granny as ‘my Commander-in-Chief’ – and was believed to be referring to the occasion when the late monarch made him grin and blush while she reviewed the cadets.
This is a breaking news story, more to follow soon… Check back shortly for further updates.
Got a story? Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected] Or you can submit your videos and pictures here.
For more stories like this, check our news page.
Follow Metro.co.uk on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news updates. You can now also get Metro.co.uk articles sent straight to your device. Sign up for our daily push alerts here.
Source: Read Full Article