Only working members of the British royal family will be allowed to wear military uniform during the state funeral and processions for the late Queen Elizabeth II, veteran royal correspondent and CBS News contributor Roya Nikkhah reported Monday.
The decision by the newly ascended King Charles III means his youngest son, Prince Harry, will have to wear a suit despite his 10 years of military service. Harry and his wife, Meghan, surrendered many of their titles in 2021 after stepping back as senior members of the royal family.
Another family member who served in the military but won’t be allowed to wear his uniform is Prince Andrew, who was stripped of his royal patronages and military affiliations this year after facing sexual abuse allegations. However, he was granted an exception and will be wearing his uniform at the final vigil, where the queen’s four children will be standing at the four sides of her coffin, Nikkhah said. The move is a “mark of respect to the queen,” she said.
“That’s when you’re going to start to see the difference, very publicly, in terms of who is a working royal and who is not,” said Nikkhah, who is also a royal editor for The Sunday Times.
During Prince Philip’s funeral last year, she said, Queen Elizabeth II decided that “everyone should wear suits,” so “everyone was on a level playing field.”
King Charles III has taken a different approach, partly because the occasion is also different.
“This is the first state funeral of a monarch since 1952,” Nikkhah said. “This is massive. And so he wants to get everything absolutely technically right, and it’s only technically right that only working members of the royal family wear a military uniform.”
The decision is likely “painful” to Harry, she said, as he served two tours in Afghanistan and has done “an enormous amount of military duty.”