Prince Harry's sad loss prevents him from taking part in Prince Philip's funeral in the same way as William

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and attends a Commonwealth Day Youth Event at Canada House with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on March 11, 2019
(Image credit: Photo by Chris Jackson - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Prince Harry will be unable to participate in his beloved grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral in the same way as Prince William because of a sad loss earlier this year.

Prince Harry returned to the UK without his wife Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex in order to join the royal family in mourning for his grandfather Prince Philip. The Duke of Edinburgh, who had been married to the Queen (opens in new tab) for over seven decades, passed away (opens in new tab) peacefully at Windsor Castle last week. 

Though his death will not change the line of succession (opens in new tab), it has changed the royal family, sometimes called The Firm (opens in new tab), immeasurably. 

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After stepping back (opens in new tab) as senior members of the royal family last year, Prince Harry and Meghan have settled in their new LA home (opens in new tab) and are currently expecting their second child.

It is reportedly because of Meghan’s pregnancy that she will not attend Prince Philip's funeral (opens in new tab) alongside her husband, as she was advised against traveling by her doctor. 

But whilst Harry has returned and will quarantine ahead of the funeral this weekend, he will not be able to take part in the funeral in the same way as his older brother, Prince William. 

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This is because following his and Meghan’s confirmation that they would not be returning as working royals, Harry permanently lost his remaining honorary military titles (opens in new tab). This includes Captain General Royal Marines - a title previously held by Prince Philip himself. 

It was reported that Harry was particularly devastated by these significant losses and had hoped to retain some of his military titles.

As a result of this loss, it’s thought that Harry will not be entitled to wear military uniform to Philip’s funeral. Nor will he be able to salute. According to protocol, retired service personnel are permitted to wear their medals at official engagements once they have left the military, but not their uniform. Whilst only those wearing a military headdress are allowed to salute. 

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It’s understood that Prince Charles, Prince William, Princess Anne, and Prince Edward will all be wearing military dress to the funeral, unlike Harry, and so they will able to salute. 

Harry will likely be sad about not being able to participate in the same way as his older brother and other family members on Saturday. Nevertheless, Harry’s devotion to his grandfather couldn’t have been clearer in his recent tribute (opens in new tab)

“To me, like so many of you who have lost a love one or grandparent over the pain of this past year, he was my grandpa: a master of the barbecue, legend of banter, and cheeky right ’till the end”, he declared. 

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing, ranging from book publishing to magazines. She currently looks after all things Lifestyle for Woman&Home, Goodto.com, and My Imperfect Life.