The Queen dramatically put her foot down just days before her husband’s funeral last week when she prevented any member of the Royal Family from wearing their military uniform. This was a surprising decision especially considering the pride Philip took in serving during World War 2 with the Royal Navy. It also provided a stark contrast to the rest of the ceremony, planned by the Duke of Edinburgh, which honoured his military ties. However, the dress code for the funeral quickly became a thorny issue when Palace aides had to decide what Prince Harry and Prince Andrew would wear.
Both once senior royals, neither of them represent the Queen anymore, meaning this would have been the first event where they would have stood among their relatives in suits rather than military uniform.
Reports claim the two tried to push back against this ruling so they could wear military dress for Philip’s funeral — but the Palace instead stopped any royals wearing their uniform for the occasion.
Royal commentator Peter Hunt then tweeted: “‘Uniform-gate’ might just prompt thoughtful royals to reflect on the mistakes they made when they removed Prince Harry’s military appointments and shut the door on Harry and Meghan — rather than leaving it slightly ajar.”
After Harry and Meghan announced they wanted to step back from the monarchy last year, the Queen stuck to a “harsh Megxit” — the term coined for the couples’ royal exit.
While ruling out any “half-in-half-out” possibilities, the Queen decided that Harry could not keep his honorary military appointments which were a gift from the sovereign.
He previously held Philip’s former title, Captain General of the Royal Marines, alongside Honorary Air Commandant, RAF Honington and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command.
The Duke of Sussex used to wear the frock coat uniform of the Blues and Royals, his old Army regiment, as seen at his wedding in 2018.
Although his decade of active service meant he has held onto the rank of Major and honorary ranks of Lieutenant Commander and Squadron Leader, losing his military honours from the Queen meant he could not wear a uniform at royal engagements.
He was officially stripped of these appointments in February this year, when he and Meghan confirmed they would not be returning to the royal fold.
By doubling-down on the original ruling and cutting almost all of Harry’s royal ties, the Palace seemed to show there was no way back for the Sussexes.
As he told Oprah Winfrey in his bombshell interview last month, the decision to remove all his titles left him particularly “hurt”.
But, he added: “At the same time I completely respect my grandmother’s decision.
“I would still love for us to be able to continue to support those associations, albeit without the title or the role.”
Despite taking this firm stance just two months ago, reports claim the Queen decided to prevent any royals wearing uniform at Philip’s funeral to avoid “embarrassing Harry”.
However, his uncle Andrew — who took early retirement in November 2019 when his ties to Jeffrey Epstein prompted international backlash — was also expected not to be in uniform.
But, those behind the scenes claimed the Duke of York was looking to don an admiral’s uniform for the ceremony, even though he was an honorary vice-admiral in the Royal Navy at the time of his retirement.
The Times reported that Andrew had even asked his tailors to start making the uniform — which would have left Harry as the only royal in a suit among his relatives.
A military source told The Sun that making all senior male royals wear mourning dress with their medals was ”the most eloquent solution to the problem”.
Addressing Mr Hunt’s suggestion that the Palace should have left the door “ajar” for the couple, one fan said: “I think the Sussexes are the ones that have shut the door…”