Prince Harry Will Be Allowed to Wear Military Uniform at Queen's Vigil in "Dramatic U-Turn"

This at least feels like good news.

Prince Harry
(Image credit: Getty)

Prince Harry's 10 years in the military hold a deep significance for him, so it must have felt like a huge blow when he was originally prohibited from wearing military uniform throughout the ceremonies organized to honor the late Queen.

While he was (of course) permitted to wear the medals he earned over his morning suit to participate in the procession for the Queen that brought her coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, it had previously been announced that he would not be allowed to wear military uniform at the monarch's vigil on Saturday, while his disgraced uncle Prince Andrew was to wear his—despite their both having been stripped of honorary military titles.

However, the Palace has now changed its mind, in what royal reporter Omid Scobie called a "dramatic U-turn."

"UPDATE: In a dramatic u-turn, palace officials have informed Prince Harry that he CAN wear his military uniform at a final vigil," Scobie tweeted.

"On Saturday evening, Harry will join seven other grandchildren at Westminster Hall to stand in silence for 15 minutes by the Queen’s coffin."

The royal expert added, "The reversal—first reported by The Mirror—follows Harry’s statement saying his 'military service is not determined by the uniform he wears,' but it is understood the Palace caved to public sentiment after thousands complained about the decision to ban him and not Prince Andrew."

When the original decision was announced, it caused public outrage over the "double standards" at play, but a spokesperson for the Duke of Sussex wished to promote harmony in the general discourse.

"[Prince Harry] will wear a morning suit throughout events honouring his grandmother," the spokesperson stated. "His 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."

Scobie later added, "UPDATE: Palace confirm all eight grandchildren to stand vigil beside Queen’s coffin on Sat eve. William (flanked by Zara and Peter) at the head, Harry (flanked by Beatrice and Eugenie) at the foot. Louise and James at the middle. At Charles’ request, brothers will be in uniform."

Meanwhile, royal correspondent Richard Palmer confirmed that it was King Charles' wish that his youngest son also wear uniform.

"After obfuscating yesterday the Royal Household has now confirmed that the Queen’s 8 grandchildren will stand vigil beside her coffin in Westminster Hall for 15 minutes on Saturday evening," Palmer tweeted. "At the King’s request, William and Harry will wear uniform."

Palmer continued, "William will stand at the head and Harry at the foot. The other grandchildren will be in morning coat and dark formal dress with decorations. William will be flanked by Zara Tindall and Peter Philips; Harry by Beatrice and Eugenie, with Louise and James in the middle."

Anticipating comments he might receive about the situation, the royal expert concluded, "FWIW I wouldn’t characterise this as Harry throwing a strop over not being able to wear a uniform or the palace bowing to public opinion - Harry divides the public. A grandchildren’s vigil is a neat solution though."

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.