The Daily Telegraph

Harry stripped of uniform – but not Andrew

Duke of Sussex must dress in suit at ceremonial events, but Queen’s son allowed to wear military attire at vigil

- By Victoria Ward and Hannah Furness

THE Duke of Sussex has been denied the right to wear military uniform at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II and any events leading up to it, although an exception has been made for the Duke of York.

Only working members of the Royal family will wear uniform at the five ceremonial events scheduled during the period of mourning, Buckingham Palace sources confirmed.

They included yesterday’s Service of Thanksgivi­ng at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, attended by the late Queen’s four children. Prince Andrew was not in uniform for that, but he will be permitted to wear it on one occasion – a vigil in Westminste­r Hall – as a “final mark of respect” for his mother.

It is expected to be the full dress uniform of a vice admiral of the Navy, the only military rank which he still holds. It came as the Duke of Sussex paid tribute to the “everlastin­g grace” and “infectious smile” of his grandmothe­r, saying even in the depths of grief he can “smile knowing that you and Grandpa are reunited now”.

The Duke, who this weekend joined his brother, the Prince of Wales, and their wives to view tributes to the late Queen, called her a “guiding compass” whose own wise words can bring comfort to the grieving public.

In a written message, in which he also hailed his father as the King, he spoke of his cherished memories of her meeting his “darling wife” and “hugging her beloved great-grandchild­ren”.

All four of the late Queen’s children walked behind her coffin as it was driven from the Palace of Holyroodho­use to the cathedral.

The King wore full day ceremonial uniform with the rank of Field Marshal, the Princess Royal wore Royal Navy full ceremonial uniform in the rank of Admiral and the Earl of Wessex wore the Blues uniform of the Honorary Royal Colonel of the Wessex Yeomanry. The Duke of York, 62, wore a morning suit.

The Duke of Sussex, who turns 38 on Thursday, was “disappoint­ed” to have been stripped of his military titles last February when it was confirmed that both he and the Duchess of Sussex were leaving royal life for good.

Buckingham Palace said that as the couple would not be returning as working members of the Royal family, it was “not possible to continue with the responsibi­lities and duties that come with a life of public service”.

Their royal patronages and Prince Harry’s honorary military appointmen­ts were returned to the late Queen but it will now fall to the King to eventually redistribu­te them.

They include the title of Captain General of the Royal Marines, which Prince Harry inherited from his late grandfathe­r, the Duke of Edinburgh.

His uncle, Prince Andrew, was sacked as a working royal in January after finding himself at the heart of one of the biggest royal scandals in recent memory, accused of raping and sexually abusing a teenage sex traffickin­g victim.

He was stripped of all honorary military titles and patronages and removed from virtually all facets of royal life.

The Duke of York later lobbied the Queen to be reinstated as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards as he pushed for a return to public duties, but his efforts were rebuffed by the King, his elder brother, as well as Prince William.

At the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral last April, the Royal family did not wear military uniform after the Queen decreed that they should wear morning coats with medals or day dress instead.

The decision, which broke with centuries of royal tradition, was made in order to present a united family front at the carefully choreograp­hed ceremony at Windsor Castle. It followed intense discussion­s over who should appear in uniform after Prince Harry faced the prospect of being the only senior royal not in military dress, despite twice seeing active service in Afghanista­n.

A row was said to have broken out after the Duke of York demanded to wear the uniform of an admiral, despite his promotion to that rank being deferred after he stepped back from public duties in November 2019 over his relationsh­ip with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

In February, the Duke paid around £12 million to settle a civil case with his accuser, Virginia Roberts Giuffre, after several months of legal wrangling and mud slinging. He has always denied any wrongdoing.

The Queen’s four children are expected to take part in four further ceremonial events: the procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminste­r Hall and service of prayer and reflection tomorrow; a vigil at Westminste­r Hall which is likely to be on Friday; the state funeral at Westminste­r Abbey on Monday; and the following committal service at St George’s Chapel, Windsor.

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