Prince Harry was reportedly “humiliated” and “devastated” because his military uniform had a very small change when he wore it to join his cousins to stand vigil at Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin in Westminster Hall. Although Harry is a decorated war veteran, he had not been seen wearing his uniform until Saturday because he is no longer a member of the working royal family. Harry has tried to stay above the fray in terms of the uniform controversy, but King Charles III reversed the policy on Friday.
Harry’s military uniform looked a little different from his brother Prince William’s. William’s uniform included the late Queen Elizabeth’s royal cypher, “ER,” on both shoulder epaulets. The cypher was missing from Harry’s uniform.
“He is heartbroken,” a friend told the Sunday Times of London, via Page Six. “To remove his grandmother’s initials feels very intentional.” Harry was so “devastated” that he considered wearing a mourning suit to the vigil to avoid “humiliation.” Another insider disputed the idea that Harry considered not wearing his military uniform, but they did confirm “ER” was removed.
The Duke of Sussex and his representatives did not comment on the report. After it was reported that Harry would not be wearing a military uniform to events honoring his late grandmother, his rep asked that the Duke’s wardrobe not divert attention from the queen’s death. “Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, will wear a mourning suit throughout events honoring his grandmother,” the rep said. “His decade of military service is not determined by the uniform he wears, and we respectfully ask that focus remains on the life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”
That statement didn’t exactly work, especially after everyone saw him only wearing a mourning jacket with his military medals alongside William during the casket’s procession to Westminster. A source close to the royal family told Entertainment Tonight on Friday that Harry would be allowed to wear the military uniform during Saturday’s vigil. The decision was made “without Prince Harry requesting the change,” the source said. It is also unclear if Harry will also wear the uniform during the state funeral on Monday. Harry wasn’t allowed to wear the uniform in the first place because he and his wife, Meghan Markle, stepped down from being active members of the royal family in 2020.
King Charles III’s decision to reverse the rule also covers his controversial brother, Prince Andrew. Andrew lost his position as an active member of the family because of his ties to convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein. Andrew did wear his military uniform to the vigil on Saturday, reportedly with the “ER” on his uniform.
While King Charles allowed Harry and Andrew to wear their uniforms Saturday, he is reportedly preparing to strip them of another royal duty. On Sunday, The Daily Telegraph reported that King Charles wants to change the law on who can fill in for him if he is incapacitated. Under the 1937 Regency Act, the spouse of the monarch and the first four adults in the line of succession could be called up as Counselors of State for official business. For Charles, this includes Harry, Andrew, and Andrew’s eldest daughter, Beatrice, all of whom are not working members of the family. The change will still need to be passed by Parliament to go into effect.