After receiving special permission from King Charles III, Prince Harry wore his military uniform during a vigil for Queen Elizabeth II — but it may have come with a hidden insult.
While both Prince Harry and his brother Prince William wore the Blues and Royals No. 1 dress uniform “at the King’s request,” Harry’s outfit from Buckingham Palace notably lacked the late queen’s royal cypher, her initials “ER.”
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Eagle-eyed royal observers noticed the cypher on both shoulder epaulettes of Prince William’s uniform. Harry’s, however, did not.
A friend told the Sunday Times of London that “He is heartbroken. To remove his grandmother’s initials feels very intentional.”
So “devastated” was he, the friend said, that the prince nearly donned a morning suit to avoid the “humiliation.”
One insider denied that an alternate outfit was ever considered, but admitted that the “ER” cypher had indeed been removed from Harry’s uniform.
The prince, who stepped down from royal duties in 2020 and was stripped of his honorary military titles, was initially forbidden from wearing his military uniform.
The California-based royal, a decorated military veteran who served in Afghanistan, walked behind the Queen’s coffin earlier this week in a morning suit.
On Saturday night, the Duke of Sussex joined his brother and the Queen’s six other grandchildren in a 15-minute honour guard.
Prince Harry was first seen wearing the uniform in the car on his way to the service, then standing near his grandmother’s coffin.
Princess Anne’s children, Peter Phillips, 44, and Zara Tindall, 41, Prince Andrew’s daughters, Princess Beatrice, 34, and Princess Eugenie, 32, and Prince Edward’s children, Lady Louise Windsor, 18, and James, Viscount Severn, 14, were also present.
On Friday, it was reported that King Charles III had reversed the edict and allowed his son and his disgraced brother, Prince Andrew, to both wear their military uniforms during their vigils at Westminster Hall for Queen Elizabeth II.
Andrew was forced to leave public life in 2019 after a disastrous interview with the BBC in which he defended his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and displayed a disturbing lack of empathy for Epstein’s victims.
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However, given Harry’s impressive military record, a source told the Daily Mirror that it was a “ludicrous situation.”
He served 10 years in the army, which included two active tours of Afghanistan and established the Invictus Games, an international sporting event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women, both serving and veterans.