Royal Family members to wear suits instead of military uniform at Prince Philip's funeral

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·4-min read

Watch: Royals will not wear military uniform at Philip’s funeral

Members of the Royal Family will wear morning coats instead of military uniform at Prince Philip's funeral, it has been confirmed.

Buckingham Palace said the usual royal code of military dress would not go ahead on this occasion, though medals can be worn with suits.

Women will wear day dresses, the palace said.

The decision will particularly affect Prince Harry and Prince Andrew, who were caught up in disputes about wearing uniforms.

Prince Andrew was reported to have sought to wear an Admiral uniform, despite not accepting the promotion on the occasion of his 60th birthday because he stepped back from royal duties, following the fallout from his BBC Newsnight interview about Jeffrey Epstein.

According to The Times he had not made a demand about the uniform.

Prince Harry was stripped of his honorary military titles in March 2021 when it was confirmed he would not be returning to his senior royal duties.

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrive to attend The Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall in London on March 7, 2020. - The Festival brings together world-class musicians, composers and conductors of the Massed Bands of Her Majestys Royal Marines. This year, the performance will mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and the 80th anniversary of the formation of Britains Commandos. (Photo by SIMON DAWSON / POOL / AFP) (Photo by SIMON DAWSON/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan at The Mountbatten Festival of Music at the Royal Albert Hall in March 2020. Harry was there in his role as Captain General of the Royal Marines. (AFP)

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The level of military service he carried out over 10 years only entitles him to wear a suit, though he can wear his medals.

Royal occasions like funerals would usually involve members of the Royal Family wearing their military uniforms. However Charles and Philip wore suits in 1997 for the funeral of Diana. 

Diana and Charles had been divorced for some time before her death and the funeral was not considered a state occasion.

At previous events, Harry had worn the uniform of the Blues and Royals, the regiment he was in.

He was also the Captain General of the Royal Marines, an honorary position he had taken over from the Duke of Edinburgh.

But as he was not carrying out royal duties, the Queen could not allow him to continue holding the position.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JUNE 08: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Andrew, Duke of York watch a flypast from the balcony of Buckingham Palace during Trooping The Colour, the Queen's annual birthday parade, on June 8, 2019 in London, England. The annual ceremony involving over 1400 guardsmen and cavalry, is believed to have first been performed during the reign of King Charles II. The parade marks the official birthday of the Sovereign, although the Queen's actual birthday is on April 21st. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
The Queen and Prince Andrew, in military uniform, at Buckingham Palace during the 2019 Trooping the Colour. (Indigo/Getty Images)

Read more: Everything we know about Prince Philip's funeral

Prince Andrew was a helicopter pilot who served in the Falklands, and was due to receive promotions in line with his age.

He was promoted to Vice Admiral when he turn 55 in 2015, but deferred the promotion to Admiral in 2020.

Andrew is still "stepped back" from his royal duties.

He hasn't been carrying any out since November 2019 when he had a disastrous interview with Newsnight in which he failed to show regret for his friendship with disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Former BBC reporter and royal commentator Peter Hunt tweeted: "It’s striking that Andrew thought he could use his father’s funeral to advance his rehabilitation and that it took the leak of news about his uniform choice, to stop him." 

LONDON - APRIL 10:  Queen Elizabeth II; Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales and Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh stand in front of Prince William and Prince Harry at the Queen Mother's funeral at Westminster Abbey in London. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)
The Queen with Prince Charles and Prince Philip as well as Prince William and Prince Harry at the Queen Mother's funeral at Westminster Abbey in London in 2002. (Getty Images)
(L to R) The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles walk outside Westminster Abbey during the funeral service for Diana, Princess of Wales, 06 September. Hundreds of thousands of mourners lined the streets of Central London to watch the funeral procession. The Princess died last week in a car crash in Paris. (Photo credit should read JEFF J. MITCHELL/AFP via Getty Images)
The Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William, Earl Spencer, Prince Harry and Prince Charles wore suits for Diana's funeral. (AFP via Getty Images)

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Royal commentator Richard Kay wrote in the Daily Mail: "It is hard to escape the irony of this. Of all those in Philip's immediate family, only two had – like him – seen active service, his son Andrew and his grandson Harry."

He added: "There is Harry, and possibly Andrew, in civilian clothes alongside Prince Edward, who abandoned the Royal Marines just weeks into its gruelling commando course, but who holds a handful of honorary military titles permitting him to don uniform, and Princess Anne, who also has a fistful of Army and Navy appointments but no service experience.

"It is difficult to imagine Philip, who said he never left the Navy but was merely on permanent leave, doing anything but harrumphing at this extraordinary state of affairs."

Prince Philip's funeral will begin with a procession at 2.40pm through the Windsor Castle grounds. The ceremony will be held at 3pm and broadcast on BBC, ITV and live on Yahoo.

Watch: The Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Diana’s Warm Relationship