Prince Harry donned his military uniform this evening as he joined Prince William and the late Queen‘s other grandchildren in a vigil as their beloved grandmother lies in state at Westminster Hall. The Duke of Sussex, a former Army officer, stood at the foot of the coffin alongside Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. The sisters released a touching tribute to the late Queen an hour before.
Prince Harry donned his military uniform this evening as he joined Prince William and the late Queen’s other grandchildren in a vigil as their beloved grandmother lies in state at Westminster Hall. The Duke of Sussex, a former Army officer, stood at the foot of the coffin alongside Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. The sisters released a touching tribute to the late Queen an hour before.
The Prince of Wales led his brother and cousins out of Westminster Hall as the vigil ended.
Until tonight, Harry – who served in the Army for 10 years – had not been allowed to wear his military garb during official events including the state funeral on Monday as he is no longer a working royal.
But royal sources say the King decided his youngest son can wear uniform for the vigil alongside his older brother.
The Duke of Sussex 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.
The Duke, who saw action on the front line during two tours of duty in Afghanistan, has been in civilian dress for official events since the Queen’s death on September 8.
He wore a morning suit when he joined other royals last Wednesday in a procession behind the late monarch’s coffin from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall for lying in state.
Only working royals – which Harry and his disgraced uncle Prince Andrew are not – were being permitted to dress in uniform at five ceremonial occasions.
The events are the St Giles’ Cathedral service in Edinburgh, the coffin’s procession to Westminster Hall, the vigil at the lying in state, the funeral in Westminster Abbey and the committal service in Windsor.
But an exception was made for the Duke of York to wear his uniform as a “special mark of respect” for the Queen when he participated in a vigil by her children on Friday evening alongside Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Edward.
The four royals, all in military uniforms, bowed their heads as they stood vigil around their late mother’s coffin for around 10 minutes.
Amid the row over military uniform, Harry’s spokesman previously said: “[Prince Harry] will wear a morning suit throughout events honouring his grandmother.
“His decade of military service is not determined by the uniform he wears and we respectfully ask that focus remains on the life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”
The Duke was devastated after being stripped of his honorary military roles including Captain General of the Royal Marines in the wake of Megxit as he and Meghan Markle quit royal duties for a new life in the US.
In his tribute to the late Queen earlier this week, Harry opened up on his “first meeting” with “my Commander-in-Chief” when she attended his passing out parade at Sandhurst in 2006 when he became an officer in the British Army.
It comes as final preparations are under way for the state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday.
Meanwhile, the new King concluded his tour of the home nations on Friday with his visit to Wales, after trips to Northern Ireland and Scotland in recent days.
And thousands of ordinary people continue to queue to see the Queen’s coffin lying in state, with some facing more than 24 hours in line.
Earlier today, Beatrice and Eugenie shared a personal tribute to their grandmother.
They said: “Our dearest Grannie, we’ve not been able to put much into words since you left us all.
“There have been tears and laughter, silences and chatter, hugs and loneliness, and a collective loss for you, our beloved Queen and our beloved Grannie.
“We, like many, thought you’d be here forever. And we all miss you terribly.
“You were our matriarch, our guide, our loving hand on our backs leading us through this world. You taught us so much and we will cherish those lessons and memories forever.
“For now dear Grannie, all we want to say is thank you. Thank you for making us laugh, for including us, for picking heather and raspberries, for marching soldiers, for our teas, for comfort, for joy. You, being you, will never know the impact you have had on our family and so many people around the world.
“The world mourns you and the tributes would really make you smile. They are all too true of the remarkable leader you are.”
Referring to Prince Philip, who died last year, the sisters continued: “We’re so happy you’re back with Grandpa. Goodbye dear Grannie, it has been the honour of our lives to have been your granddaughters and we’re so very proud of you.
“We know that dear Uncle Charles, the King, will continue to lead in your example as he too has dedicated his life to service.
“God save the King. With our love, Beatrice and Eugenie.”
Harry and Meghan, who are based in California, were already in the UK as part of a trip to Europe when the late Queen died peacefully aged 96 at Balmoral on September 8.
The couple, who have faced tensions with the royals in recent years, have been stayed at Frogmore Cottage in Windsor.