Prince Harry, 38, wore his military uniform for the first time in two and a half years on Saturday, after his father, King Charles III reportedly requested he be allowed to even though he’s no longer a working royal. The Duke of Sussex, who served two tours of Afghanistan during his 10-year tenure in the British Army, attended a family vigil that honored his late grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, at Westminster Hall in London, England. He was among some of the late monarch’s other grandchildren, including his brother Prince William, 40, and their cousins, Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor and James, Vicount Severn.
Like Harry, William, who is now the Prince of Wales, was also dressed in his own military uniform. The brothers both stood near the Queen’s coffin during the 15-minute vigil, with William at the head and Harry at the foot. They all had their heads bowed and hands folded as they took in the moment and mourners passed by them.
The vigil is the first event of the many Prince Harry attended since the Queen’s passing in which he was allowed to wear the military uniform. On Monday, Buckingham Palace said that only working members of the royal family with military rank would be able to wear their military uniforms during the 10-day mourning period, which began after Her Majesty died on Sept. 8. Harry moved away from his royal duties and London to live across the pond to California with his wife Meghan Markle and their children in 2020.
The Queen’s grandchildren hold a Vigil beside Her Majesty’s coffin at Westminster Hall. pic.twitter.com/lChZW6OdIP
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) September 17, 2022
“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,” a spokesperson for Harry said about the decision earlier this week. Shortly, after the decision went public, it was reported a change was made and Harry would wear the uniform at the vigil at “the king’s request.” The new decision was reportedly made without Harry, himself, requesting the change, as he was willing to wear whatever he was allowed to.
Harry’s military look at the vigil comes just two days before the Queen’s state funeral is set to take place on Sept. 19. It will take place at Westminster Abbey and will be followed by a committal service in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle. Harry and his wife Meghan will be attending alongside their family members as well as many world leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden.