After the Queen’s passing the Royal Family immediately jumped into action to enact protocols put in place years ago in the event of the Queen’s death.From her death on 8th September 2022, to her funeral on 19th September 2022, the Royal Family has been active in their work and duties. And while Prince Harry quit as a working member of the Royal Family, he is still there in the capacity of a grandson…
Before the Queen’s funeral yesterday, 19th September 2022. The Royal Family has been enacting customs that have existed for centuries in the British monarchy. One of those customs is the ‘Vigil of the Princes’ wherein the heirs of the monarch stand around the coffin in a silent vigil.
Princes William and Harry led a vigil that involved all of the Queen’s grandchildren, all of them stood next to the Queen’s coffin. The Queen’s coffin had been placed in Westminister Hall, where the public had been queuing and visiting for days leading up to her funeral. The grandchildren participating in the vigil were specifically Zara Tindall and Peter Philips, Princess Anne’s children, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Prince Andrew’s daughters, and Lady Louise and Viscount Severn, Prince Edward’s children.
Upon the instructions of King Charles, his sons wore their military uniforms, while their cousins wore black attire to signify mourning.
When Prince Harry announced that he was stepping down as a working member of the Royal Family, the Queen stripped him of his military honors. Hence the Prince has largely been seen wearing a suit of mourning but for the particular occasion of the vigil beside the Queen’s coffin, he was allowed to wear his military uniform.
The vigil of the late monarch’s grandchildren came after the vigil held next to her coffin by her own four children.
While it seems the Prince of Wales has seemingly buried the hatched with his younger brother for stepping down from his role as a working royal, there was a very pointed difference in their military uniforms for the vigil.
While Harry was allowed to wear his military uniform, there was a pointed difference in his uniform from what it had been like before. His grandmother’s initials ‘ER’ used to grace his uniform before, but for this instance, they had been removed.
A journalist reported that even though Harry had been asked by King Charles himself to don his military uniform for the vigil, he had almost considered wearing civilian clothing when he realized the “ER” had been removed. The Prince wanted to avoid the humiliation of wearing his uniform with this little but important detail removed.
It was reported that a friend of Harry’s had weighed in on the situation saying, “he is heartbroken. To remove his grandmother’s initials feels very intentional.”
The “ER” initials are incredibly important as they represent the Queen. According to Metro UK, the ‘E’ stands for Queen Elizabeth’s first name and the ‘R’ stands for ‘Regina’ which is Latin for Queen.
The Royal Cypher for Queen Elizabeth II was either “EIIR” or “ER.” The ‘II’ in the other version are roman numerals to signify that she is the second Queen Elizabeth. Royal Cyphers are at times woven with a crown to signify the royal status of a person.
After the Queen’s death, Prince Harry released a statement he wrote about the passing of his grandmother on his website Archewell. In the statement, he outlined his close relationship with his grandmother and how much she meant to him.
He talked about their bond, the advice she had given Harry for so many years, and the example she had set for him. He also said he was smiling knowing that his grandmother was not finally with his grandfather, Prince Philip. To share such a close bond with the Queen and to have her initials removed from your uniform must have been painful for the Prince.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have also been excluded from some events held to honor the Queen. Namely, the state event hosted hundreds of World leaders who arrived in London to honor the late Queen.
The Daily Mail reported that Harry and Meghan had been invited to the event but had been told by Buckingham Palace that the event was only for working royals, and hence the two of them opted out of attending the event and felt like they had been “excluded.”
A friend of the couple revealed that while seemingly the couple opted out of attending the event themselves, it was still ludicrous that they were not there, the friend said, “It is beyond bonkers if they’re not there. Everyone is coming in from around the world to pay their respects to the Queen.”
While the Sussexes are seemingly being kept at arm’s length through some state functions, it seems that they have still been extended an olive branch from the Prince and Princess of Wales.
When William and Kate made their first public appearance after the Queen’s death to look at tributes outside of Windsor Castle, and meet with the public, they had invited along the Sussexes. This was a surprise and shock for most people present as they had not expected the couple to appear together at all.
But the family of course wanted to display unity, and Kate even commented, “we [the royal family] are sticking together and sharing each other’s grief and helping each other cope.”
Everyone in the public appreciated how the two young couples walked together and met with the public together. They also saw Prince William’s effort of keeping Prince Harry involved in everything.
But of course, it was also noted that Kate and Meghan were less than friendly with one another, with some thinking that Kate had barely even acknowledged Meghan’s presence at the walkabout.
After the vigil had been held Prince William commented about the gravity of the circumstances, saying, “It brought back a few memories. It’s one of those moments when you think: I’ve prepared myself for this, but I’m not prepared.”
Just a few days after the Queen’s death, Prince Harry had his 38th birthday which of course he spent with his wife, with no public celebrations. A UK newspaper reported that while no celebrations were held, Prince William said he had indeed remembered it was his brother’s birthday.