Prince Harry ‘left “heartbroken” after Queen’s ‘ER’ initials were stripped from military uniform he wore to coffin vigil’: Duke ‘considered wearing morning suit to avoid “humiliation”‘ after Prince Andrew was allowed to keep royal cypher’
- The Queen’s eight grandchildren held a sombre 15-minute vigil by her coffin inside Westminster Hall last night
- Princes William and Harry, both dressed in military uniform, stood at either end of their grandmother’s coffin
- Harry had previously been prevented from wearing military uniform, but was granted permission for the vigil
- However, the ‘ER’ initials were stripped from his shoulder, leaving him feeling ‘heartbroken’ and ‘devastated’
- Came despite Prince Andrew having retained initials on his vice-admiral’s uniform during vigil on Friday night
- The Queen’s funeral: All the latest Royal Family news and coverage
Prince Harry has reportedly been left ‘devastated’ and after the Queen’s ‘ER’ initials were removed from the shoulder of his military uniform as he held vigil by her coffin – after Prince Andrew was allowed to keep the royal cypher.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, is said to have considered wearing a morning suit to avoid embarrassment as the monarch’s eight grandchildren carried out a sombre guard of honour inside Westminster Hall last night.
William and Harry, both dressed in military uniform, stood at either end of their grandmother’s coffin. They were joined by cousins Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and Lady Louise Windsor and her brother Viscount Severn.
Harry, who saw action on the front line during two tours of duty in Afghanistan, had previously been prevented from wearing military uniform this week as he is no longer a working royal.
He was granted permission by King Charles to wear the livery for the vigil inside the Palace of Westminster.
However, the Duke of Sussex is understood to have been devastated to find his grandmother’s initials had been stripped from the shoulder of his uniform, The Sunday Times reports. The initials were not removed from Prince William’s uniform.
Harry’s despair is understood to largely centre around Prince Andrew, who is also no longer a working royal, having retained the initials on his vice-admiral’s uniform as the Queen’s children held a vigil on Friday night.
The Duke of Sussex was a Personal Aide de Camp of the Queen and, as a result, had previously worn the cypher. But it was among the posts he resigned when he stepped down from royal duties and moved to California.
The ‘ER’ initials are traditionally only worn by those ‘in service’ of the monarch, and so the absence of the cypher is thought to be down to dress regulations as opposed to a direct snub of the prince.
But such was his despair, Harry is said to have considered wearing a morning suit as they were leaving in order to avoid the embarrassment last night.
A friend told the newspaper: ‘He is heartbroken. To remove his grandmother’s initials feels very intentional.’
Prince William (left) wore the ER initials on the shoulder of his military uniform last night, but the cypher was removed from that of Prince Harry’s
Prince Andrew, who is also no longer a working royal, retained the initials on his vice-admiral’s uniform as the Queen’s children held vigil on Friday
Prince Harry pictured with the ER initials on the shoulder of his military uniform as he attended the Founder’s Day Parade at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, in June 2019
William and Harry stood either end of the Queen’s coffin as her grandchildren held vigil last night, while mourners continued to file past
The eight sombre grandchildren pictured arriving at Westminster Hall last night, led to the coffin by the Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex
Mourners watched as the vigil was held for the Queen in Westminster Hall by her eight grandchildren on Saturday evening
Prince Harry pictured arriving to attend a vigil as they pay their respects to the coffin of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth last night
It comes amid hopes of reconciliation between the brother’s following the Queen’s death, with the princes standing side by side as they walked behind her coffin as it was moved to lie in state at the Palace of Westminster on Wednesday.
It was a poignant moment that drew comparisons to walking behind the coffin of their mother Princess Diana at her funeral in 1997.
That came after William and Harry put on an an unexpected united front with their respective wives Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle during a walkabout outside Windsor Castle on Saturday.
But sources close to the brothers are understood to have said there has been ‘no meaningful rapprochement’ as of yet.
They joined other royals for dinner at Buckingham Palace as they received the Queen’s coffin at Buckingham Palace this week.
However, conversations between the two are still largely via aides than direct contact, despite the close proximity of their Windsor homes.
As Harry was driving with Meghan as he celebrated his 38th birthday on Thursday, they had a chance encounter with William as the Prince of Wales was returning home after collecting his three children from school.
The brothers initially drove past each other, before stopping, reversing and winding down their windows for a chat.
But while William understands the interest in the relationship with his brother, he is ‘solely focused’ on honouring the Queen.
Harry closely followed his brother as they led the Queen’s grandchildren to hold the vigil by the Queen’s coffin last night.
Prince William was wearing the Blues and Royals, No.1 Uniform, The Garter Sash, The Garter Star, Golden, Diamond and Platinum Jubilee medals and RAF Pilot Wings.
Harry, meanwhile, was wearing the 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 Prince of Wales (right) and the Duke of Sussex before holding a vigil beside the coffin of their grandmother
Queen Elizabeth’s grandchildren arrived in Westminster just before 6pm where they will hold a 15-minute vigil
Meanwhile, a source close to Harry said being back in his brother’s company again had at times been ‘uncomfortable’ and ‘difficult’ this week.
And reconciliation is said to remain difficult while Harry’s memoir and the Sussexes Netflix documentary linger over the Royal Family.
It comes as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex found out they were ‘uninvited’ to a Buckingham Palace state reception for world leaders and foreign royals tonight by reading press reports, sources claim.
Harry and Meghan were initially invited, but the invitation was later rescinded on the basis that the reception is only for working royals.
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