Prince Harry was reportedly left “devastated” after discovering the initials of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, were removed from his military uniform ahead of a vigil for the late monarch on Saturday (September 17), according to The Sunday Times. The Duke of Sussex was reportedly so “heartbroken” that he considered wearing civilian clothes instead of the uniform.
As a Personal Aide de Camp of the Queen, Harry had previously worn the initials on his uniform. However, since he’s no longer a working royal after stepping back from duties, the cypher was removed as a dress regulation. There was speculation that the move was upsetting to Harry as Prince Andrew, who is also no longer a working royal, was allowed to keep the initials during Friday’s vigil by the Queen’s children. Plus, Harry’s brother, Prince William, also had the initials still intact, which appeared to make it a bit awkward between the pair, whose relationship is already strained.
After picking up the uniform at Buckingham Palace, Harry considered donning a civilian “mourning suit” to avoid “humiliation,” a friend of Harry’s told the outlet. “He is heartbroken,” the friend added. “To remove his grandmother’s initials feels very intentional.”
The fact that Prince Harry was wearing a military uniform was already surprising news, as he had been in civilian clothing at previous events paying tribute to the Queen. At King Charles III’s request, Prince Harry was granted permission to wear his military uniform to the special vigil attended by all of the Queen’s grandchildren, including Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Lady Louise Windsor, and James, Viscount Severn. The move was another sign that King Charles III is looking to reconcile with his younger son.
As for the chilly relationship between the Harry and his wife Meghan Markle and William and his wife Kate Middleton, there appears to be improvements. The foursome had already reunited earlier in the week outside of Windsor Castle, greeting onlookers paying tribute to the late Queen Elizabeth II. In a statement from Buckingham Palace, a royal spokesperson said William, who is now called the Prince of Wales, “invited the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to join him and the Princess of Wales” for the walkabout.