Prince Harry 'heartbroken' after Queen's ER initials 'stripped from his uniform' before vigil

·News Editor
·2 min read
Queen Elizabeth II 's grandchildren (L-R) Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (L) and Britain's Prince William, Prince of Wales (R) arrive to hold a vigil around the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, in Westminster Hall, at the Palace of Westminster in London on September 17, 2022, ahead of her funeral on Monday. - Queen Elizabeth II will lie in state in Westminster Hall inside the Palace of Westminster, until 0530 GMT on September 19, a few hours before her funeral, with huge queues expected to file past her coffin to pay their respects. (Photo by Aaron Chown / POOL / AFP) (Photo by AARON CHOWN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, wore military uniform for the first time since 2020 at the vigil

As Prince William and Prince Harry united to hold a vigil for the Queen in Westminster Hall, eagle-eyed viewers noticed a tiny – but important – difference between the two brother’s uniforms.

The two brothers stood guard at the Queen's lying in state in Westminster Hall alongside their cousins on Saturday evening as a stream of mourners filed past after queueing for hours.

Harry, who saw action on the front line during two tours of duty in Afghanistan, has previously been denied the chance to wear his military uniform as he publicly mourns, because he is no longer a working royal.

But royal sources said the King decided his youngest son could wear uniform for the vigil.

Though the gesture appeared kind, a missing detail reportedly left Harry “devastated”.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex arrives to hold a vigil in honour of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Hall.
Prince Harry appeared at the vigil in military uniform, but his grandmother's initials were not on his shoulders. Source: Getty

His grandmother’s ‘ER’ initials were stripped from the uniform’s shoulders, while still appearing on both of his brother’s shoulders.

Before attending the vigil, Harry was reportedly considering wearing a morning suit to avoid the “humiliation”, The Times reported.

“He is heartbroken. To remove his grandmother’s initials feels very intentional,” a source told the publication.

On Friday evening, the Queen's children - Charles, the Duke of York, the Princess Royal and the Earl of Wessex - took part in their own vigil.

Prince William and the Duke of York both wore the Queen's initials on their shoulders.
Prince William and the Duke of York both wore the Queen's initials on their uniforms at separate vigils. Source: Getty

An exception was made for disgraced Andrew, who is no longer a working royal, to be allowed to wear his military uniform as a "special mark of respect" for the Queen.

At the event, the Queen’s initials could be seen on his shoulders.

Despite being a former Army officer, Harry has been in civilian dress for official events, including walking behind the Queen's coffin on Wednesday.

Prince Harry and Prince William stand next to the Queen's coffin
The two brothers appeared at the vigil with their cousins. Source: Getty

William and Harry were joined in their silent tribute around the coffin by cousins Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and Lady Louise Windsor and her brother Viscount Severn.

The Queen's funeral will take place on Monday 19 September.

Her Majesty's lying in state at Westminster Hall will close to the public at 6.30am

Just after 10.35am the coffin will be lifted from the catafalque.

It will be carried in a procession from Westminster Hall to the Royal Navy’s state gun carriage, which will then travel to Westminster Abbey for the funeral service.

The Queen will be buried in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle in the afternoon, reunited with her late husband Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.