Prince Andrew Is Not Allowed to Wear a Military Uniform — Here's Why


Sep. 14 2022, Published 12:46 p.m. ET

Prince Andrew
Source: Getty Images

As if the controversy surrounding Prince Andrew couldn't escalate further, confused fans of the British Royal Family are curious about why Prince Andrew attended one of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral ceremonies without wearing his military uniform. Traditionally, members of the royal family are required to wear their uniforms at events such as funerals, but why doesn't that apply to Prince Andrew? As it turns out, there's a pretty simple explanation.

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Princess Anne and Prince Andrew attend a funeral ceremony for Queen Elizabeth II.
Source: Getty Images

Why isn't Prince Andrew wearing a military uniform to funerary events?

As it turns out, only working members of the royal family are allowed to wear military uniforms during the state funeral and all funerary events for Queen Elizabeth II, according to CBS. Andrew was recently stripped of his military titles after being accused of sexual assault and sexual abuse and is no longer considered a "working" member of the royal family.

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Previously, Andrew spent 22 years in the Royal Navy, but formally retired in 2001 after achieving the rank of commander. He was later promoted to honorary captain in 2005.

Prince Andrew.
Source: Getty Images
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However, Prince Andrew was granted an exception to this rule and will be wearing his uniform at the final vigil like his siblings, in a move that serves as a "mark of respect to the queen." Reporter Roya Nikkhah of CBS says, "That's when you're going to start to see the difference, very publicly, in terms of who is a working royal and who is not."

Another technical member of the royal family who will not be wearing a military uniform is Prince Harry, who notably renounced his status as a working royal in 2021. It is currently unclear if Harry will don his military uniform for the Queen's state funeral. Harry served in the British Army for 10 years, completed two tours in Afghanistan, achieved the rank of captain in 2011, and qualified as an Apache Aircraft commander. He retired in 2015.

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Prince Andrew and Prince Harry.
Source: Getty Images

Previously, Queen Elizabeth II declared that everyone in the royal family would wear suits to Prince Philip's funeral, so "everyone was on a level playing field." It seems that for the funeral of his late mother, King Charles III does not feel the same way.

"This is the first state funeral of a monarch since 1952," Roya says. "This is massive. And so he wants to get everything absolutely technically right, and it's only technically right that only working members of the royal family wear a military uniform."

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