Topline

Members of Britain’s royal family will reportedly forgo standard military dress for the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral Saturday, according to multiple reports, opting for civilian clothing that would spare Prince Harry the embarrassment of being the only senior male royal not in uniform, having had his titles stripped when he stepped down as a working royal. 

Key Facts

The last minute change was reportedly approved by the Queen and followed heated debates over which members of the family could attend in military attire. 

Prince Harry served two tours in Afghanistan but was stripped of his honorary military titles upon stepping down.

Prince Andrew, the Queen’s son who stepped away from royal duties over a scandal involving his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, reportedly wanted to wear an admiral’s uniform, the position he was due to take before stepping back (Prince Andrew has not been stripped of his titles). 

Instead, the entire family will be expected to wear standard mourning attire, including Charles, Prince of Wales; William, Duke of Cambridge; Edward, Earl of Wessex; and Anne, Princess Royal, who all hold military appointments. 

Buckingham Palace is expected to announce further details for the funeral on Thursday.

Tangent

The royals’ civilian clothing will contrast with the significant, though scaled down due to Covid-19, military send off for the Duke of Edinburgh. The Duke was a decorated veteran who fought during World War II. 

Key Background

Prince Philip, the 99-year-old husband of Queen Elizabeth II, died Friday morning at Windsor Castle. The funeral is the first time Harry has returned to the U.K. since stepping down as a working royal and moving to California over a year ago. He has reportedly been in quarantine since arriving last week and his wife, Meghan Markle, has been advised by doctors not to travel on account of her being pregnant with the couple’s second child. His return comes a month after a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey, where the couple made multiple allegations of poor treatment and racism from the royal “Firm.”

Big Number

30. The Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral would ordinarily be expected to be a large and public affair with hundreds in attendance. England’s coronavirus restrictions limit funerals to just 30 people and the prime minister said he will not attend to give more room to family. Buckingham Palace is expected to announce details of attendees on Thursday, though these are likely to be close members of the royal family given the limitations.

Further Reading

Prince Harry And Meghan Markle Pay Tribute To Prince Philip (Forbes)

Prince Harry To Attend Prince Phillip’s Funeral, But Meghan Will Not (Forbes)

Harry And Meghan Will Not Return As Working Members Of Britain’s Royal Family (Forbes)

‘Beloved Husband’: A Look At Prince Philip’s Life As The Longest-Serving Consort To The Monarch, Following His Death At Age 99 (Forbes)

Royals will not wear military uniform at Philip’s funeral (Press Association)