Why Not All Members of Royal Family Wore Military Uniforms to Queen Elizabeth's Funeral

As members of the royal family joined the massive procession to Westminster Abbey for Queen Elizabeth II's funeral Monday morning, many fans noticed that some of them wore military uniforms and others wore suits. While King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Prince William wore military regalia during the procession from Westminster Hall to Westminster Abbey, Prince Andrew and Prince Harry did not.

Buckingham Palace previously confirmed that only working members of the royal family who hold military rank can wear military uniforms during funeral events. Because Andrew, 62, and Harry, 38, are no longer working royals, they wore dark suits – despite their previous service in the military. Harry and William's cousin Peter Phillips also wore a suit as he does not hold any military ranks.

Prince Harry served in the British Army for a decade and was deployed to Afghanistan twice, but lost his three honorary military titles after he and his wife, Meghan Markle, stepped back from their royal duties in March 2020. A spokesperson for Harry told PEOPLE that he will wear a "morning suit throughout events honoring his grandmother," adding that Harry's "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."

Prince Andrew, who spent 22 years in the Royal Navy and served as a helicopter pilot in the Falklands War in 1982, was stripped of his military titles and royal patronages in January after he was accused of sexual assault by Virginia Roberts Giuffre, a victim of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein's trafficking ring.

Prince Andrew and Prince Harry did not wear their military uniforms on Wednesday when they joined other royals in a procession from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall behind the Queen's coffin. However, an exception was made for both of them during the mourning period; Andrew wore his uniform Friday for a Vigil of the Princes and Harry wore his Blues and Royals uniform Saturday at a smilier vigil that the Queen's eight grandchildren performed. That came "at the King's request," a palace source told PEOPLE, with the decision coming without Prince Harry requesting the change.


About 2,000 leaders and royals from around the globe gathered at Westminster Abbey on Monday for the funeral of the Queen. Following the service, another procession began from Westminster Abbey to St. George's Chapel in Windsor Chapel, where Queen Elizabeth spent much of her final years. She will be buried in St. George's Chapel with Prince Philip, her sister Princess Margaret, her father King George VI and her mother Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.