Was it a sartorial overlook? Or a deliberate snub? Whichever the reality, Prince Harry went from pleased to pissed off when his father, King Charles III, allowed him to wear his military uniform during the surprise 15-minute vigil over Queen Elizabeth II’s coffin, but the uniform was missing the Queen’s insignia on the shoulder. Harry’s brother Prince William sported the ER on his shoulder, and even disgraced royal Prince Andrew had the insignia on his uniform.
The approval to have the Queen’s grandchildren stand vigil came at the last minute from the new king, which followed the vigil the Queen’s children participated in. Military garb is allowed for working royals, yet it appears Charles wanted continuity in permitting both Andrew and Harry to wear uniforms as neither form part of the royal household. But the omission of the ER insignia, which stands for Elizabeth Regina, or Queen Elizabeth, did not escape royal watchers’ eyes.
As reported by FoxNews, royal expert Kinsey Schofield told the outlet: “We do not know why the initials were removed from Prince Harry’s uniform, but I am told that Prince Harry was so distraught over the removal that he seriously contemplated not wearing his uniform during the vigil.” Prince Harry was so incensed that he almost ditched the uniform for a mourning dress instead, according to reports, as he viewed the missing insignia as a personal attack on him, not an innocent oversight.
It’s hard not to think that the missing insignia was a deliberate move on the part of the royal family and those who planned all aspects of the funeral and the 10-day mourning period as attention to detail is paramount at a state funeral. Prince Andrew being allowed to wear full military garb including the ER insignia underscores this point, as he had been stripped of all of his titles and patronages earlier this year and is no longer a working royal since it was discovered he was good friends with the accused sex-offender Jeffrey Epstein and was accused of sexual assault by Virginia Giuffre. Like Prince Harry, Prince Andrew cannot use “HRH” associated with his name. However, some have pointed out that Harry didn’t wear the shoulder ER on his uniform on his wedding day, leading them to suspect that this was neither an oversight nor a snub:
Can someone please explain to Richard Kay that Harry has never had the ER insignia on his uniform? Look at the same uniform on his wedding day, for heaven’s sake!! pic.twitter.com/wpilG1Gpwi
— Duchess of Exeter 🇦🇺 (@WhosFibbing) September 19, 2022
Prince Harry is still the Duke of Sussex, and served in the British Army for ten years. According to reports, at the vigil he “wore a Blues and Royals No. 1 Uniform, KCVO Neck Order and Star, Afghanistan Operational Service Medal, Golden, Diamond and Platinum Jubilee medals and Army Pilot Wings.”
He and his wife, Meghan Markel, raised eyebrows when they decided to be relieved of royal duties in order to move to the United States and pursue life as regular people. They claim that they were forced to do so to avoid incessant media intrusion into their private life and passive racism due to Meghan’s ethnicity. However, they have done a poor job avoiding the spotlight with their Oprah interview, Meghan’s podcast and children’s books, and the in-production Netflix special on their life as non-royal royals.
But some are applauding King Charles’ decision to allow both Andrew and Harry to wear military uniforms. Shannon Felton Spence, FoxNews contributor, and royal expert said, “I am glad the king thought better of it. It’s the right thing to do. The queen was immensely proud of Prince Harry’s service as his granny and as his commander-in-chief.”