Prince Andrew ‘to not wear military uniform except for lying in state vigil’
The Duke of York will be back in military uniform for the final vigil around the Queen’s coffin during the lying in state, but not for the state funeral or other ceremonial elements in the coming days, sources have said.
Andrew, the late monarch’s disgraced second son, stepped down from public life after the furore over his friendship with paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, and paid millions to settle a civil sexual assault case to a woman he claimed never to have met.
In January, ahead of his legal settlement, his mother the Queen stripped him of all of his honorary military roles, including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, and he gave up his HRH style.
Andrew, a former Royal Navy officer who served in the Falklands War, retained his rank as a Vice Admiral.
While working royals including the King, the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex will parade in military uniform at the state funeral and on other occasions in the next week, Andrew will not, apart from the vigil.
As a non-working member of the royal family, the Duke of York will wear uniform as a special mark of respect for the Queen at the vigil in Westminster Hall, sources said.
It has not yet been confirmed whether the Duke of Sussex – also a non working royal – will wear military dress.
Working members of the royal family will wear uniform when present at five ceremonial events during the period of mourning the Queen.
These are the service of thanksgiving at St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, the procession to Westminster Hall and service of prayer and reflection, the Vigil at Westminster Hall, and, next Monday, the state funeral at Westminster Abbey and the committal service at St George’s Chapel Windsor.
At the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April 2021, the issue was dealt with by the Queen who decided that no members of the royal family should wear uniform.
It was a break with tradition but seen as the most eloquent solution to a host of problems.
Reports had suggested Andrew was considering wearing the uniform of an admiral.
He was due to be promoted to Admiral in 2020 to mark his 60th birthday but this did not go ahead following the fallout from his disastrous Newsnight appearance.
It also meant that Harry, who lost his honorary military titles after deciding to step down as a senior working royal, did not have to face being one of the only close family members who was in civilian dress.
Harry served two tours of duty in Afghanistan during a decade in the Army.