Here's What Prince Harry May Be Forbidden To Do At Prince Philip's Funeral

When Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepped down from their senior roles as royals last February, Harry was stripped of his honorary military titles. In addition to impacting how Harry can dress and act at official events in the future, royal protocol may also prevent Harry from honoring his grandfather in a particular way.

According to Hello! magazine, Prince Harry won't be able to salute at Prince Philip's funeral, as he no longer has his three honorary military titles (via Observer). However, he still retains the titles he earned during his ten years in the British army (via The Sun). Since he's no longer in the military, the prince is allowed to wear his medals at the funeral and future official engagements but not his uniform, and only those wearing such a uniform are allowed to salute, according to royal protocol.

Harry is likely to attend in a black suit instead. As for what this will look like, the prince wore a suit with his medals to mark Remembrance Sunday at a US cemetery last year. These included the Queen's Golden Jubilee medal, an Afghanistan Operational Service medal, and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal (via The Mirror).

Prince Charles and Prince William may still salute

Prince Charles and Prince William will still be able to salute at the funeral (via Pure Wow), as they remain working members of the royal household. Although, there are reports that William may opt to wear a suit to avoid a "rift," according to a royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams.

"This is obviously very sensitive. Anything that distinguished the brothers in that way, which would be so obvious for anyone watching, would probably be avoided," Fitzwilliams told The Sun. "The whole thing we do not want is any form of rift."

A dress code for those attending has not been made public, but it wouldn't be surprising if this were done, as Fitzwilliams suggests, to ensure that the "spotlight on this very, very important day is where it should be," and that's on Prince Philip and the "truly remarkable achievements of someone with superhuman energy who did so much for Queen and country."

Senior male royals are expected to forgo military attire

According to Forbes, a last-minute stipulation allowing senior male members of the royal family to not wear the standard military dress, in order to spare Prince Harry the embarrassment of being the only one left out, was approved by the Queen following "heated debates" over who would and would not be doing so at the funeral. Prince Andrew, who stepped back from royal duties following a highly publicized scandal surrounding his friendship with convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and a disastrous BBC interview that only made matters worse, wanted to wear an admiral's uniform for the occasion. 

Although the beleaguered royal wasn't stripped of his titles, he hadn't actually become an admiral yet. Everybody will now wear regular mourning attire. Prince Philip himself, meanwhile, is due to get the full military send-off in line with his service in World War II. The event will be scaled back, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but will still stand in stark contrast to his family's comparatively low-key attire. Likewise, although the funeral would ordinarily be a massive public event, it will instead be held according to the rules currently in place.

Prince Harry is isolating in preparation for the funeral

In accordance with the restrictions, Prince Harry is currently isolating at Frogmore cottage, with his cousin, Princess Eugenie, and her husband, Jack Brooksbank. People notes the Duke of Sussex arrived home on April 11 and is quarantining in Windsor before joining the rest of the royals for his grandfather's funeral on April 17. Harry and wife Meghan Markle previously lived in Frogmore but gave the property up when they defected the royal family. "Frogmore Cottage continues to be the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's residence in the U.K.," a source said, adding, "they are delighted to be able to open up their home to Princess Eugenie and Jack as they start their own family." 

Markle will not be attending the funeral, since she's currently pregnant with her second child and has therefore been instructed not to travel. Brooksbank will not attend either, in order to keep numbers down, which is the same reason Prime Minister Boris Johnson also won't be there. The BBC reports that current U.K. rules limit funerals to just 30 guests, so Johnson is opting out in order to allow as many close family members to attend as possible.