Prince Andrew Will Be Allowed to Wear Military Uniform at the Queen's Vigil, While Prince Harry Won't Be

But they were both stripped of military titles.

prince andrew
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince Andrew and Prince Harry have both been stripped of certain military titles for very, very different reasons, yet only one of them will be allowed to wear military uniform at a vigil for Queen Elizabeth II next week.

Royal reporter Omid Scobie confirmed the news that the disgraced Duke of York would be afforded an honor which the Duke of Sussex wouldn't be via Twitter, to great uproar.

"UPDATE: Only working members of Royal Family will wear military uniform for ceremonial events honouring The Queen over next week: procession and service in Edinburgh today, coffin procession to Westminster Hall (and vigil that follows), state funeral, final committal in Windsor," Scobie wrote.

He continued, "As a non-working member of the family, Prince Andrew will not wear uniform to above events. However, “as a special mark of respect”, a royal source says he will at the final vigil in Westminster Hall. The Palace have yet to say whether this exception also applies to Prince Harry."

Hours later, Scobie updated his followers about the decision that was made regarding the Duke of Sussex.

"CONFIRMED: I understand that, unlike Prince Andrew at final vigil, Prince Harry will NOT be allowed to wear uniform at any ceremonial events . No doubt a huge blow for the Duke of Sussex, who served for 10 years and this morning spoke of the Queen being his 'commander-in-chief,'" Scobie wrote.

Commenters were predictably incensed by the news. One wrote, "Prince Harry did not step down from royal  life in disgrace. That was his uncle Prince Andrew. However, to protect Andrew from embarrassment Prince Harry is been penalised. Shameful."

Another chimed in, "Only working members but Andrew is being allowed to wear his this evening? It’s almost like the No uniform for non working royals policy was invented for harry."

Others remarked that Prince Harry's military life was extremely dear to him, with one British commentator decrying the "deplorable double standards" being exhibited through this decision.

Prince Harry

(Image credit: Getty)

"Prince Andrew was stripped of all of his honorary military titles because of the disgrace he brought to the Royal Navy and the Royal Family following the accusations of sexual abuse by Virginia Giuffre," author Shola Mos-Shogbamimu told Newsweek.

"Prince Harry served with distinction. He served in the army with distinction, rising in the ranks. He did two tours of Afghanistan. He still works with veterans and promotes support for wounded men and women," she continued.

"Plus, he started the Invictus Games. If there was anyone between the both of them who has the right to wear a uniform, then it's Prince Harry."

The Duke of Sussex founded the Invictus Games in 2014, an annual event which sees injured and wounded servicemen and women from the world over compete in athletics.

For Mos-Shogbamimu, this decision is likely to further hurt the monarchy's public image.

"This is my point about the Royal Family being totally tone deaf and not reading the room as well as sending the wrong message," she continued.

"I'm thinking about Charles. Hasn't he learned a thing or two about the backlash that the Queen got about the way she protected Prince Andrew?"

While Prince Andrew was friends with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein for years and accused—as mentioned above—of sexual assault, Prince Harry was stripped of his honorary military titles when he and his wife Meghan Markle decided to step down from their royal duties because of the toll it was taking on their mental health.

"As a retired serviceman, Harry would always be able to wear his medals, but no longer could he wear uniform as Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Force Commandant of the Royal Air Force Base Honington, and honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Navy’s Small Ships and Diving Operations," wrote Scobie and Carolyn Durand in Finding Freedom (via Us Weekly).

Neither Prince Andrew nor Prince Harry are currently working members of the Royal Family, and both served in the military at one point in their lives, so from the outside looking in, it's certainly hard to see why this distinction is being made here.

Iris Goldsztajn
Morning Editor

Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of British Vogue, InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Refinery29 and SELF. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.