Prince William's Uniform Has a Subtle But Deeply Meaningful Change: Can You Spot It?
The Prince of Wales symbolically sported both Queen Elizabeth and King Charles' royal cyphers — inside why
Prince William is honoring King Charles and Queen Elizabeth with a tiny tweak to his uniform.
The change was spotted on Wednesday when the Prince of Wales, 41, held an investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle. As Prince William distributed honors to Lionesses soccer stars Beth Mead and Lucy Bronze, former palace adviser Jason Knauf and more, two royal cyphers were unusually spotted on the right shoulder strap of his military uniform. Above his golden braided aiguillettes were the royal monograms for his grandmother, who died in September at age 96, and his father, who was crowned in a glittering ceremony at Westminster Abbey on Saturday.
According to Hello!, the cyphers signify Prince William's roles as an aide-de-camp to Queen Elizabeth and King Charles. The honorary positions are unpaid and awarded at the discretion of the monarch, the Ministry of Defence said.
While Queen Elizabeth made Prince William an aide-de-camp more than a decade ago, his honor from King Charles is new. Though it remains unclear when the King bestowed the role, the Prince of Wales only wore Queen Elizabeth's initials at his most recent investiture before Wednesday, in October 2022.
Charles and Elizabeth's respective insignias link their first initial with the letter "R," meaning "Rex" for King or "Regina" for Queen in Latin, plus their regnal numbers. The Prince of Wales wore the ceremonial dress uniform of the Welsh Guards with the Mantle of the Order of the Garter and formal robes to the coronation Saturday.
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Prince William memorably paid homage to his father the King during the church service, kneeling before him after he was crowned to pledge allegiance.
"I, William, Prince of Wales, pledge my loyalty to you and faith and truth I will bear unto you, as your liege man of life and limb. So help me God," William told Charles, who appeared emotional.
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He then touched his father's crown and kissed his cheek, prompting the King to say what appeared to be, "Thank you, William."
The Prince of Wales' vow — known as the Homage of Royal Blood — echoes the one made by his grandfather Prince Philip to Queen Elizabeth at her 1953 coronation, when he swore to be her "liege man of life and limb."
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Upon the death of Queen Elizabeth on Sept. 8, Charles immediately became King and named his eldest son the Prince of Wales, the traditional title for the male heir, the following day. Although the two don't have a traditional father-and-son relationship, they are closer than ever before.
"Talking about the future of the country and their future roles has strengthened their bond," a source who knows both King Charles and Prince William previously told PEOPLE.
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