As the Royal Family prepare to say their goodbyes to Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, this coming Saturday, funeral preparations are well underway. However, there are set to be a few changes from the norm – not only will the number of guests be scaled back to thirty due to COVID-19 rules, but there has also been a last-minute change regarding what the male members of the family will be wearing.
Traditionally, the men of the family would adopt military uniforms for a funeral, however it's now reported that the Queen has decided they will all wear a traditional black suit instead. It's believed that this new dress code has been implemented as Prince Harry, after stepping down from his position as a senior working royal, was stripped of all his honorary military titles (gifted to him by the Queen, rather than earned during his decade of service), meaning he would not be permitted to wear a uniform.
Many are saying it'd be unfair for Prince Harry to be the only person not in military dress as he served in the Armed Forces for ten years, even touring Afghanistan. However, the general rule for all ex-servicemen and women is that if you're not actively serving in the Armed Forces, you aren't permitted to wear a uniform to events such as funerals or weddings, as you're deemed a civilian. However, it's okay to wear your medals on display.
Although Prince Charles, Prince Andrew and Prince William, like Harry, are no longer serving in the Armed Forces, they would typically be allowed to wear military uniforms due to still having honorary titles from the Queen. One reason that royals are given such titles is so that they can be a representative and a spokesperson for particular groups and draw attention to things such as charitable fundraisers.
Despite no longer being a senior working royal, due to the scandal following his friendship with disgraced sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, Prince Andrew (who strenuously denies any wrongdoing) still bears the titles of an honorary Vice-Admiral in the Royal Navy and Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, amongst others.
Prince Charles has a number of honorary titles, including Colonel-in-Chief of the Mercian Regiment and Commodore-In-Chief of Plymouth, Royal Naval Command, as does Prince William, whose include Colonel of the Irish Guards and Commodore-in-Chief of Scotland.
Formerly, Prince Harry's honorary titles were Captain General Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant, RAF Honington, and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command.
Our thoughts are with all the Royal Family during this difficult time.
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