Can Prince Harry wear a military uniform? Will he wear it to the Queen’s vigil tonight - royal rules explained

Prince Harry has been wearing a morning suit at events commemorating his grandmother, despite his Army service in Afghanistan

Prince Harry will reportedly be permitted to wear military uniform at a vigil with his cousins beside the Queen’s coffin.

The Duke of Sussex will join his brother the Prince of Wales and the Queen’s six other grandchildren in mounting a vigil around her coffin on Saturday (17 September).

The 38-year-old has thus far been denied the chance to wear his military uniform as he publicly mourned, and was instead dressed in a morning suit on Wednesday as he walked behind Her Majesty’s coffin while most of his relatives were in uniform.

King Charles II has reportedly granted Prince Harry special permission to appear in uniform at a vigil beside the Queen’s coffin (Photo: Getty Images)

Why has Prince Harry not been wearing military uniform?

Prince Harry has not been permitted to wear military uniform after he made the decision to step back from royal duties in February last year.

He was stripped of his honorary military roles, including Captain General of the Royal Marines, by the Queen after stepping down as a working royal.

However, he retains his rank as Captain in the Army after seeing action on the front line during two tours of duty in Afghanistan.

The Duke of Sussex is known to be proud of his decade in the forces and referred to the Queen as “my Commander-in-Chief” in a memorial note on Monday.

Prince Harry wrote of his special memories of the Queen attending his passing-out parade in 2006 when he became an officer in the British Army.

He told of his “first meeting” with his grandmother as “my Commander-in-Chief” and is believed to have been referring to the occasion when she made him grin and blush when she reviewed the cadets.

Despite being a former Army officer he has been in civilian dress for official events this week, including walking behind his grandmother’s coffin on Wednesday when it was carried to Westminster Hall to lie in state.

However it seems that Palace officials have now had a change of heart, with a source saying “common sense has prevailed”.

King Charles II has reportedly granted his son special permission to appear in uniform for a 15-minute period of reflection at Westminster, as he joins his brother the Prince of Wales and cousins Peter Phillips and Zara Tindall in mounting a vigil around the Queen’s coffin on Saturday.

The ruling is a mark of respect for Her Majesty and has been described as a “one-off” decision as opposed to a U-turn, according to The Sun.

A source told the newspaper: “The King invited the Queen’s grandchildren to mount a vigil and Harry can wear his uniform.”

Buckingham Palace has not commented on the report.

Is Prince Andrew allowed to wear military dress?

Only working royals are permitted to dress in military uniforms at the ceremonial occasions for the Queen this week, but an exception has been made for Prince Andrew.

The disgraced Duke of York, who is no longer a working royal, will wear his military uniform as a “special mark of respect” for the Queen when he stands guard around her coffin during a vigil with his siblings on Friday evening.

He stepped down from public life after the furore over his friendship with paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein and went on to pay millions to settle a civil sexual assault case to a woman he claimed never to have met.

In January, ahead of his legal settlement, the Queen stripped him of all of his honorary military roles, including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, and he gave up his HRH style.

Virginia Giuffre sued him for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was 17 after she was trafficked by Epstein, a claim which he has consistently denied.

Prince Andrew will not wear military uniform for the Queen’s funeral or other ceremonial events in the coming days.