Why Prince Harry is allowed to wear Army uniform during Queen’s final vigil

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Prince Harry will reportedly be able to wear his military uniform to the Queen’s final vigil on Saturday evening, Royal sources have suggested.

Earlier in the week, the Duke of Sussex’s team had confirmed that he would not wear military uniform at official Royal events to mark Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s death due to his non-working Royal status. 

His team said that the initial decision to deny the Duke of Sussex the right to wear a military uniform at events commemorating his late grandmother Queen Elizabeth II “cannot erase his decade of military service”.

And his team added that “… we respectfully ask that focus remain on the life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II”.

Prince Harry, served in the Army for 10 years, undertaking two tours of Afghanistan and rising to the rank of captain and had so far been denied the chance to wear his military uniform as he publicly mourned as he is no longer a working Royal.

Despite being a former Army officer he has been in civilian dress for official events, including walking behind his grandmother’s coffin on Wednesday when it was carried to Westminster Hall to lie in state.

After the decision taken by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to stand down as senior members of the Royal Family, Prince Harry returned Royal patronages and honorary military appointments to the Queen but he continued to maintain his close connection to the Armed Forces and the veteran community. 


Prince Harry received promotions in all three services in June 2018, becoming a major in the British Army, a lieutenant commander in the Royal Navy, and squadron leader in the Royal Air Force.

General Sir Nicholas Carter, the then-Chief of the General Staff, said that Prince Harry had “achieved much in his 10 years as a soldier”.

“He has been at the forefront throughout his service,” he said.

The Prince also founded the Invictus Games, an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans – which he continues to champion, most recently in Dusseldorf.

Harry will now reportedly join his brother the Prince of Wales and cousins Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall in mounting a vigil around the Queen’s coffin on Saturday.

An exception has already been made for the Duke of York, who is no longer a working Royal but will wear his military uniform as a “special mark of respect” for the Queen when he stands guard around her coffin during a vigil with his siblings on Friday evening.