Politics

RICHARD KAY: The King’s first test is to resolve this family crisis


For a moment the squabbles over uniform seemed unworthy, the saga over insignia an irrelevance. In Westminster Abbey, which has borne witness to truly momentous chapters in Britain’s history, the vanity of Prince Andrew and Prince Harry was reduced to mere petty detail.

In the days since the Queen’s death, there has been a sense of hostilities suspended and grief shared. Equally, in the great church where monarchs are crowned and mourned, there was a powerful reminder that family unity is as important as public affection in binding the monarchy to the nation.

Yesterday was not just about bringing the curtain down on the Elizabethan era, it was also the day when the baton of royal symbolism was passed from a mother to a son.

King Charles has an in-tray bursting with challenging demands, from shoring up a Commonwealth to holding together a fractious United Kingdom. But his first test, and one which may define his reign, is to resolve a family crisis that caused his mother so much heartache in her last years.

No wonder at times yesterday his face seemed so bleak that not even the consoling presence of his beloved wife the Queen Consort could ease his sorrowing. He knows that his role as head of state does not confer upon him an automatic right to be the most popular member of the Royal Family; he knows that affection has to be earned. 

Barred from uniform and saluting: Both Prince Harry (on left) and Prince Andrew (on right) who are no longer working royals appeared  in morning suits and appear lost in thought as King Charles and Princess Anne salute in their Royal Navy uniforms at Westminster Abbey

Barred from uniform and saluting: Both Prince Harry (on left) and Prince Andrew (on right) who are no longer working royals appeared  in morning suits and appear lost in thought as King Charles and Princess Anne salute in their Royal Navy uniforms at Westminster Abbey

Companion: Duke pets one of his mother’s beloved dogs, the corgis, Sandy and Muick. He is due to look after the dogs after it was announced shortly after Queen Elizabeth II died

Prince Andrew looks like he is full of emotion during the procession of his mother's coffin near Westminster Abbey as Harry also appears to be looking hurt just behind his uncle as they attend the funeral of the late Monarch, 96

Companion: Duke pets one of his mother’s beloved dogs (left), the corgis, Sandy and Muick. He is due to look after the dogs after it was announced shortly after Queen Elizabeth II died. Prince Andrew looks like he is full of emotion (on right) during the procession of his mother’s coffin near Westminster Abbey as Prince Harry (pictured on right, behind the Duke) also appears to be looking hurt just behind his uncle as they attend the funeral of the late Monarch, 96

Prince Harry stands while other members of the Royal Family salute ahead of the state funeral of the Queen this morning

Prince Harry stands while other members of the Royal Family salute ahead of the state funeral of the Queen this morning

Prince Harry and Prince Andrew stand while other members of the royal family salute towards the coffin in London today

Prince Harry and Prince Andrew stand while other members of the royal family salute towards the coffin in London today

King Charles II with his head as the Queen Consort sits beside him at this morning's service in Westminster Abbey

King Charles II with his head as the Queen Consort sits beside him at this morning’s service in Westminster Abbey 

But he understands, too, that the synthetic fame represented by California-based Prince Harry and Meghan, with their huge social media following, is corrosive to the long-term well-being of the monarchy. It seems to be built on a misplaced sense of victimhood.

Charles’s hope is that, having been so much part of the spectacular events of the past week and a half, his son finally realises that the qualities of duty and service celebrated in the national outpouring of heartfelt affection for the Queen are the true measure of popularity.

It may be a forlorn hope.

Allowing it to be made known that having the Queen’s initials removed from his Army uniform when he stood vigil on Saturday night over his grandmother’s coffin has left him devastated, suggests that Harry has not learnt this lesson. It would seem he has still not grasped the consequences of quitting royal life. 

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried into Westminster Abbey, followed by King Charles III and other royals today

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried into Westminster Abbey, followed by King Charles III and other royals today

Prince William and Prince Harry stand next to each other on the day of the state funeral for the Queen this morning

Prince William and Prince Harry stand next to each other on the day of the state funeral for the Queen this morning

The Duke of Sussex - who put aside his feud with his brother, Prince William, to walk alongside him behind the Queen's coffin - was wearing a civilian suit rather than uniform due to no longer being a senior royal

The Duke of Sussex – who put aside his feud with his brother, Prince William, to walk alongside him behind the Queen’s coffin – was wearing a civilian suit rather than uniform due to no longer being a senior royal 

The Duchess of Sussex, 41, walked into the historic church in a sombre procession behind the Queen's coffin. In front of her was Kate, the two eldest Cambridge children, and Prince Edward and his wife, the Duchess of Wessex

The Duchess of Sussex, 41, walked into the historic church in a sombre procession behind the Queen’s coffin. In front of her was Kate, the two eldest Cambridge children, and Prince Edward and his wife, the Duchess of Wessex

His decision to abandon it is why, at the funeral and other key events, he was not permitted to wear the military attire that means so much to him.

At both Windsor and in the Abbey, his face was rigidly fixed on some distant point, a picture of concentration. Yet if he needed any reminder of the life he has surrendered and the part he could have in it, it was all around.

He cannot have failed to have been moved by the pageantry, both solemn and poignant. Nor how each brought the royal traditions of the past into the present day and gave them resonance and meaning.

Harry yesterday was not just mourning the loss of a grandmother — she was also the figure to whom in his anguish he turned as his royal life unravelled. There is no doubt that grandson and monarch had a close bond. The Queen’s staff have told me how, in the early days of Harry’s exile in America, the Queen would excitedly take his phone calls. Over time this changed and she later became perplexed by Harry’s complaints.

Meghan and Harry are sitting on the second row, directly behind King Charles III, the Queen Consort and Princess Anne

Meghan and Harry are sitting on the second row, directly behind King Charles III, the Queen Consort and Princess Anne 

Meghan and Harry singing during today's funeral service. Next to them were Princess Beatrice and her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi

Meghan and Harry singing during today’s funeral service. Next to them were Princess Beatrice and her husband, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi 

Britain's King Charles III, Britain's Camilla, Queen Consort, Britain's Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, Britain's Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Britain's Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Britain's Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Britain's Prince William, Prince of Wales, Britain's Catherine, Princess of Wales, Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall and her husband Mike Tindall

Britain’s King Charles III, Britain’s Camilla, Queen Consort, Britain’s Princess Anne, Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Timothy Laurence, Britain’s Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Britain’s Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, Britain’s Sophie, Countess of Wessex, Britain’s Prince William, Prince of Wales, Britain’s Catherine, Princess of Wales, Peter Phillips, Zara Tindall and her husband Mike Tindall

King Charles looks tearful while an emotional Prince Harry looked away from the Queen's coffin at the end of the funeral

King Charles looks tearful while an emotional Prince Harry looked away from the Queen’s coffin at the end of the funeral

King Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward are seen lined up outside Westminster Abbey ahead of Prince William, Prince Harry and Peter Phillips at today's funeral service

King Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward are seen lined up outside Westminster Abbey ahead of Prince William, Prince Harry and Peter Phillips at today’s funeral service 

Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, Peter Phillips and Timothy Laurence walk after a service at Westminster Abbey on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain's Queen Elizabeth

Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Prince Harry, Peter Phillips and Timothy Laurence walk after a service at Westminster Abbey on the day of the state funeral and burial of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth

His route-one approach infuriated other senior royals but he wasn’t the only one to adopt such a strategy. Prince Andrew placed his salvation too in his mother’s hands. Stripped of his military links and patronages and forced to step down from royal duties, he continued to remain close to the Queen, including escorting her in to the Abbey in March for the memorial service to Prince Philip.

There is no doubt that there was some public sympathy for both Andrew and Harry, the only two close members of the Queen’s family to have seen active service in wartime.

Both men had unquestionably demonstrated considerable bravery, Harry on two occasions in Afghanistan and Andrew as a helicopter pilot in the Falklands War.

But while their courage has never been in doubt, their judgment and common sense have been.

From Charles, who has had to manage the fallout, there has been both anger and sadness. Andrew’s decision to speak to the BBC over the Jeffrey Epstein affair, in which he failed to acknowledge any fault or offer any apology, was viewed by Charles as a monumental act of folly and self-harm.

Harry’s on-going habit of giving interviews as well as his planned memoir has been more personally hurtful.

Charles had welcomed Meghan into the family — famously walking her up the aisle at the royal wedding when her own father was unable to attend.

But their complaints about racism within the family, as well as attacks on the integrity of members of the Royal Household, have wounded him.

When the Royal Family next gathers on such a ceremonial scale as we have witnessed over these days, it will be for King Charles’s Coronation. Where then, and how, will Harry and Meghan feature? And can Andrew expect anything other than a role as a spectator?

For Harry the breathtaking events of the Queen’s obsequies can have left him in no doubt that unless he is prepared to accept the olive branch extended so generously by his father, he is in danger of being written out of the royal story.

He must surely be reflecting, too, on how his brother William has offered reconciliation, standing or marching at his side for all the important events, from the lying-in-state to the funeral. He could so easily be restored to the heart of the family.

An emotional Prince Harry in Westminster Abbey for today's funeral alongside his wife, the Duchess of Sussex

An emotional Prince Harry in Westminster Abbey for today’s funeral alongside his wife, the Duchess of Sussex 

The Queen's four children showed off their array of service medals as they followed their late mother's coffin into and out of Westminster Abbey in London following their mother's state funeral today. The quartet displayed medals that demonstrated their commitment to public service, others that showed individual military achievements and more commemorating the Queen's 70-year reign

The Queen’s four children showed off their array of service medals as they followed their late mother’s coffin into and out of Westminster Abbey in London following their mother’s state funeral today. The quartet displayed medals that demonstrated their commitment to public service, others that showed individual military achievements and more commemorating the Queen’s 70-year reign

The Lord Chamberlain breaks his Wand of Office before the Queen's coffin is lowered as King Charles III watches on intently behind him at St George's Chapel

The Lord Chamberlain breaks his Wand of Office before the Queen’s coffin is lowered as King Charles III watches on intently behind him at St George’s Chapel

There has been awakened in the British people in the past few days a sense, once more, not simply of the past, but of continuity in their country and their way of life. It has been refreshing for many of us to find a way of taking pride in our country.

Yesterday’s events, with their deep echoes of ancient religion, heraldry and tradition, were not just about the continuity of the royal house. They were about the continuity of a nation and its people. Charles is undoubtedly the focus of those feelings but Harry could certainly have a role, should he wish it, in that continuity. It is just possible that everything he has seen has opened his eyes to what his future could be.

As for Prince Andrew who has clung on to every royal privilege — in contrast to his mother’s lack of grandeur and her dignity and modesty — there cannot be a royal future. But he need not be banished from his brother’s kingdom.

Some years ago Charles ruefully said of his brother, then in the middle of some other mishap, that what Andrew really wanted was ‘to be me’. He suggested to his mother that perhaps the younger prince, who for many years had been heir in line to the throne, should work for him.

In Charles’s patronage as King, might there not be such a role, in which a dutiful Andrew could make amends for mistakes?

He would certainly earn his brother’s undying gratitude if he took it.

Moment of truce and reconciliation? William silently shows Harry and Meghan to their seats beside wife Kate as warring brothers say final farewell to their grandmother in St George’s Chapel at Windsor

By Mark Duell for MailOnline

Prince William today directed his estranged brother Prince Harry and sister-in-law Meghan Markle to their seats at St George’s Chapel just before the committal service for their late grandmother the Queen got underway.

The brothers have put aside their feud for a united front to remember the monarch, and again showed that they could at least be on speaking terms as they interacted with each other in the chapel at Windsor Castle.

William was seen walking to the end of the pew while holding back his son Prince George next to wife Kate Middleton and daughter Princess Charlotte, as he beckoned for Harry and Meghan to walk past them.

Harry and Meghan then took their seats, with the Duke of Sussex sitting next to Charlotte. Kate was sat in between Charlotte and George, with the nine-year-old prince next to William who was on the end of the pew.

The royals had followed behind the Queen’s coffin into the chapel after it was lifted from the state hearse and carried in ahead of the service at 4pm. The procession was led in by members of the Queen’s royal household. 

Once again King Charles III followed behind the coffin, with Queen Consort Camilla, as well as Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence behind, then Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.

Earlier today, William and Harry also walked together behind the Queen’s coffin in London in emotional scenes this morning before it was carried into Westminster Abbey by the military bearer party for her state funeral.

Today marks the fourth day in just over a week that Harry and William have carried out engagements together, with royal observers hoping they are making first steps to put their troubled relationship behind them.

The brothers also followed behind the Queen’s coffin for a procession to Westminster Hall last Wednesday; a vigil over the coffin on Saturday; and a walkabout with Kate and Meghan outside Windsor Castle on September 10.

While William and Harry have put aside their disagreements for royal events in recent days, fears over the content of Harry’s upcoming memoir continue to cast a cloud over their relationship – especially following the bombshell interview he and Meghan gave to Oprah Winfrey in March 2021 when they accused an unnamed royal of racism.

Rumours of a rift between the brothers first emerged in 2019 when they divided their households following various disagreements about Harry’s role, but their feud deepened amid the fallout from the Megxit saga in 2020.

But the death of the Queen has seen the rivals shelve their differences, with William and Kate joined in recent days by Harry and Meghan for the first occasions in more than two years since Commonwealth Day in March 2020.

Prince William directs Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to their seats at St George's Chapel for the committal service today

Prince William directs Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to their seats at St George’s Chapel for the committal service today

Prince William lets Harry and Meghan into the pew before his family at St George's Chapel in Windsor this afternoon

Prince William lets Harry and Meghan into the pew before his family at St George’s Chapel in Windsor this afternoon

William was seen walking to the end of the pew while holding back his son Prince George next to wife Kate Middleton and daughter Princess Charlotte, as he beckoned for Harry and Meghan to walk past them ahead of the service this afternoon

William was seen walking to the end of the pew while holding back his son Prince George next to wife Kate Middleton and daughter Princess Charlotte, as he beckoned for Harry and Meghan to walk past them ahead of the service this afternoon

The Duke of Sussex next to Princess Charlotte as they stand during the committal service at St George's Chapel today

The Duke of Sussex next to Princess Charlotte as they stand during the committal service at St George’s Chapel today

(Top to bottom) The Prince of Wales, Prince George, the Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte, the Duke of Sussex and Duchess of Sussex at the committal service for Queen Elizabeth II held at St George's Chapel in Windsor Castle today

(Top to bottom) The Prince of Wales, Prince George, the Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte, the Duke of Sussex and Duchess of Sussex at the committal service for Queen Elizabeth II held at St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle today

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, followed by (left to right, from front) King Charles III, the Queen Consort, the Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, the Countess of Wessex, the Prince of Wales, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, the Princess of Wales, the Duke of Sussex, the Duchess of Sussex, Peter Phillips, the Earl of Snowdon, the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, and Prince Michael of Kent, at the committal service in Windsor today

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II, followed by (left to right, from front) King Charles III, the Queen Consort, the Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke of York, the Earl of Wessex, the Countess of Wessex, the Prince of Wales, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, the Princess of Wales, the Duke of Sussex, the Duchess of Sussex, Peter Phillips, the Earl of Snowdon, the Duke of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent, and Prince Michael of Kent, at the committal service in Windsor today

The Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (front row top) at the service in Windsor today

The Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex (front row top) at the service in Windsor today 

Prince Harry, Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence ahead of the committal service at Windsor today

Prince Harry, Princess Anne and Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence ahead of the committal service at Windsor today

Prince William and Prince Harry join the procession following the state hearse carrying the coffin at Windsor today

Prince William and Prince Harry join the procession following the state hearse carrying the coffin at Windsor today

King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and  Prince Harry at Windsor Castle today

King Charles III, Princess Anne, Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and  Prince Harry at Windsor Castle today

The Duke of Sussex, King Charles III and the Princess Royal follow the State Hearse carrying the coffin in Windsor today

The Duke of Sussex, King Charles III and the Princess Royal follow the State Hearse carrying the coffin in Windsor today

Today, the royal family were among the 2,000 people gathered for the funeral, before a committal service at Windsor Castle. The service follows the Queen’s lying in state period at Westminster Hall, which ended at 6.30am.

The day marks the climax of the biggest security operation the UK has ever seen, surpassing the operation for the Platinum Jubilee weekend and the London 2012 Olympics, which saw up to 10,000 police officers on duty per day.

Uniforms and medals worn by senior royals 

The King wore his Royal Navy uniform and his son and heir dressed in RAF colours at the funeral of the Queen in nods to the branches of the armed forces in which they both served.

Both the Duke of Sussex and Duke of York, who also served in the military, were dressed in formal mourning clothes for the state funeral because they are no longer working members of the royal family.

The King

The King wore the Royal Navy No 1 tailcoat with sword, the collar of the Order of the Garter, Order of the Thistle Sash, Order of Merit neck order, Garter Star and Thistle Star.

He also wore full-size medals including the Queen’s Service Order (New Zealand), Coronation Medal, Silver Jubilee Medal, Golden Jubilee Medal, Diamond Jubilee Medal, Platinum Jubilee Medal and a Naval Long Service Good Conduct (LSGC) (three x Additional Service Bars).

Other medals included Canadian Forces Decoration (three x Additional Service Bars), The New Zealand Commemorative Medal, and The New Zealand Armed Forces Award.

Charles had a six-year military career, mainly flying for the Royal Navy.

Earl of Wessex

The Earl of Wessex wore the Blues Uniform with the rank of Honorary Royal Colonel of the Royal Wessex Yeomanry, with the Garter Star and Sash and the Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO) star.

He also wore Silver, Gold, Diamond and Platinum Jubilee Medals, the New Zealand Medal and the Canadian Forces Medal.

Prince Edward did not serve in the military but spent a short time as a Royal Marines officer cadet after leaving university in the 1980s.

The Prince of Wales

The Prince of Wales wore the RAF No 1 uniform with the Garter Sash with RAF Pilot Wings and the Garter Star Chest Order.

He also wore the Gold, Diamond and Platinum Jubilee Medals.

William spent seven years in the military, including more than three years as a search and rescue pilot.

The Princess Royal

The Princess Royal wore a Royal Navy full ceremonial uniform in the rank of Admiral.

She wore full-size medals including the Queen’s Service Order, Coronation Medal, the Silver, Gold, Diamond and Platinum Jubilee medals, Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (Royal Navy), Canadian Forces Decoration, Order of St John Service Medal and New Zealand 1990 Medal.

Anne wore a decoration of a thistle sash and thistle star, as well as the Most Noble Order of the Garter (Garter Star), the Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle (Star), and the Royal Victorian Order (Knight Grand Cross).

She did not serve in the military but holds a number of honours and titles.

Prince Andrew and Prince Harry were both again banned from saluting during the procession to Westminster Abbey today – while other royals including King Charles III, Prince William and Princess Anne all performed the gesture.

Members of the Royal Family saluted when the Queen’s coffin was taken into the Abbey. But Andrew and Harry simply stood still because they were not allowed to wear military uniform, as neither are now working royals.

It comes after Harry and Andrew were also prohibited from saluting at the funeral procession to Westminster Hall last Wednesday.  Andrew did also not salute at the vigil last Monday in Edinburgh for the same reason.

The decision to ban Harry and Andrew from wearing military uniforms in most events following the Queen’s death at Balmoral 11 days ago is a reminder of how both now have limited involvement in the Royal Family.

Prince Harry spent ten years in the Army, but he was stripped of his honorary military titles in 2020 after he and his wife Meghan Markle announced they were stepping down as senior working royals and moving abroad.

His uncle the Duke of York, who was forced to stand down from public life in 2019 over the Jeffrey Epstein scandal, is the only other royal banned from wearing military uniform at the ceremonial events and funeral.

It comes after an extraordinary row over the decision to remove the Queen’s initials from the shoulder of Prince Harry’s military uniform laid bare the depth of his rift with the Royal Family.

The prince was said to have been left ‘devastated’ after receiving his ceremonial dress of the Blues and Royals from Buckingham Palace without the distinctive EIIR cipher on the shoulder.

He wore the uniform to Saturday night’s vigil over the Queen’s coffin alongside the monarch’s seven other grandchildren. Such was his despair, Harry is even said to have considered wearing a morning suit as they were leaving in order to avoid the ’embarrassment’.

William and Harry, both dressed in military uniform, stood at either end of the coffin on Saturday night. 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 told he would have to wear a morning suit as he is no longer a working royal and has been stripped of any honorary military appointments.

However, his father, King Charles, granted permission for his son to wear his old uniform at the vigil inside the Palace of Westminster as a show of respect and unity to the late Queen.

It is understood that no personal slight was intended, and The cipher was removed simply because Harry is no longer an aide-de-camp (ADC) to the Queen after quitting royal duties and handing back his military appointments.

A Personal Aide-de-Camp is an appointment bestowed only on members of the Royal Family holding military rank, including the Prince of Wales.

Nowadays, it is an honorary role with few duties or responsibilities, although historically it would have signified close proximity to the monarch. Harry was awarded the honour in 2018 and it was seen as a sign of his growing responsibility within the monarchy.

But following his acrimonious decision in 2020 to quit as a working royal and seek his fortune in the US, the Queen insisted he withdraw from all responsibilities and appointments. It means he is simply no longer entitled to wear the insignia of an ADC on his uniform.

Much has been made of the fact that the shamed Duke of York was seen in his ADC insignia at Friday night’s vigil by the Queen’s children. 

Andrew was permitted to wear it because, unlike Harry, he did not give the honour back when he relinquished his military associations in January. A spokesman said it was a personal appointment by the Queen.

Questions will undoubtedly be raised, however, as to why Harry was forced to hand the honour back, when his uncle was not.

On Saturday, 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 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.

Harry, however, wore civilian dress for today’s funeral.

Andrew stepped down from public life after the furore over his friendship with paedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

He went on to pay millions, with no admission as to liability, to settle a civil sexual assault case to a woman he claimed never to have met.

Britain's William, Prince of Wales, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the day of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey today

Britain’s William, Prince of Wales, Catherine, Princess of Wales, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, Prince George and Princess Charlotte at the day of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey today

Prince Harry, Prince Andrew and other members of the Royal Family walk to Westminster Abbey this morning

Prince Harry, Prince Andrew and other members of the Royal Family walk to Westminster Abbey this morning

Members of the Royal Family watch as the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is placed on a gun carriage this morning

Members of the Royal Family watch as the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is placed on a gun carriage this morning

Prince William and Prince Harry next to Peter Phillips as they arrive at Westminster Abbey in London this morning

Prince William and Prince Harry next to Peter Phillips as they arrive at Westminster Abbey in London this morning

Members of the Royal Family march ahead of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey today

Members of the Royal Family march ahead of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey today

The Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex walk to Westminster Abbey this morning on the day of the state funeral

The Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex walk to Westminster Abbey this morning on the day of the state funeral

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried into Westminster Abbey, followed by King Charles III and other royals today

The coffin of Queen Elizabeth II is carried into Westminster Abbey, followed by King Charles III and other royals today

King Charles III looks at his mother's coffin, while Prince Harry stands behind his father at Westminster Abbey this morning

King Charles III looks at his mother’s coffin, while Prince Harry stands behind his father at Westminster Abbey this morning

Prince William and Prince Harry next to Peter Phillips as they arrive at Westminster Abbey in London this morning

Prince William and Prince Harry next to Peter Phillips as they arrive at Westminster Abbey in London this morning

Prince William and Prince Harry stand next to each other on the day of the state funeral for the Queen this morning

Prince William and Prince Harry stand next to each other on the day of the state funeral for the Queen this morning

Princes William and Harry walk side-by-side behind the Queen's coffin in the procession towards Westminster Abbey today

Princes William and Harry walk side-by-side behind the Queen’s coffin in the procession towards Westminster Abbey today

Members of the Royal Family walk behind the Queen's coffin in the procession towards Westminster Abbey today

Members of the Royal Family walk behind the Queen’s coffin in the procession towards Westminster Abbey today

Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward walk behind the Queen's coffin in Westminster today

Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward walk behind the Queen’s coffin in Westminster today

In January, ahead of his legal settlement, the Queen stripped him of all of his honorary military roles, including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, and he gave up his HRH style.

Andrew, a former Royal Navy officer who served in the Falklands War, retained his rank as a Vice Admiral, and is expected to wear the coinciding uniform.

Virginia Giuffre, formerly known as Virginia Roberts, sued him for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was 17 after she was trafficked by Epstein. Andrew denied the claims.

At the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April 2021, the dress issue was dealt with by the Queen who decided that no members of the royal family should wear uniform.

The Daily Mail revealed that Andrew had demanded to be allowed to wear his uniform as an honorary vice-admiral of the British royal navy.

Around the time of the Philip’s funeral, Andrew even went to his mother to ask her to back him in the uniform row as she prepared to say goodbye to her beloved husband.

After the Mail’s story broke, it was announced that senior royals would wear morning suits in order to deflect the row. It was a break with tradition but seen as the most eloquent solution to the problem.

Andrew was due to be promoted to Admiral in 2020 to mark his 60th birthday, but this did not go ahead following the fallout from his disastrous Newsnight appearance.

Today, the Queen’s coffin was taken in a grand military procession from the Palace of Westminster to Westminster Abbey for the funeral at 11am.

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex ahead of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey today

The Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex ahead of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey today

Members of the royal family march ahead of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey today

Members of the royal family march ahead of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey today

King Charles III and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London today

King Charles III and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in London today

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex take part in the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II today

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex take part in the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II today

Members of the royal family march ahead of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey today

Members of the royal family march ahead of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey today

King Charles III and other senior royals ahead of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey today

King Charles III and other senior royals ahead of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey today

Members of the royal family march ahead of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey today

Members of the royal family march ahead of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey today

King Charles III and other senior royals ahead of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey today

King Charles III and other senior royals ahead of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey today

Before the service, conducted by the Very Rev David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster, the tenor bell was tolled every minute for 96 minutes, reflecting the years of the Queen’s life.

Heads of state, prime ministers and presidents, members of European royal families and key figures from public life gathered at the abbey.

But invitations were not sent to Russia and Belarus due to the invasion of Ukraine, while Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, Myanmar’s military junta and Syria’s Bashar Assad were also excluded.

The Queen’s Piper, Warrant Officer Class 1 (Pipe Major) Paul Burns, played the traditional lament Sleep, Dearie, Sleep after The Last Post, two minutes’ silence, Reveille and the national anthem.

During the service the King and the Queen Consort sat in the ornate Canada Club chairs, with Camilla next to the Princess Royal, then Vice Admiral Sir Timothy Laurence, then the Duke of York and then the Earl and Countess of Wessex in the front row of the south lantern.

Across the aisle was the Prince of Wales, the Princess of Wales, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, and then Peter Phillips and Zara and Mike Tindall.

Directly behind the King was the Duke of Sussex with the Duchess of Sussex behind Camilla. Meghan was sitting next to Princess Beatrice.

US President Joe Biden will be 14 rows back on the south transept behind the Polish leader and in front of the Czech Republic. The First Lady will be next to Switzerland’s representative.

Other heads of state including French President Emmanuel Macron were also in the abbey, while senior British politicians including Prime Minister Liz Truss, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and former prime ministers Boris Johnson, David Cameron and Theresa May were among those taking their seats.

The funeral was broadcast live at around 125 cinemas and several cathedrals in the UK, and on a big screen in Holyrood Park in front of the Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh.

Prince William and Prince Harry, behind King Charles III outside Westminster Hall for the state funeral this morning

Prince William and Prince Harry, behind King Charles III outside Westminster Hall for the state funeral this morning 

Prince William and Prince Harry, behind King Charles III outside Westminster Hall for the state funeral this morning

Prince William and Prince Harry, behind King Charles III outside Westminster Hall for the state funeral this morning

Prince William and Prince Harry, behind King Charles III outside Westminster Hall for the state funeral this morning

Prince William and Prince Harry, behind King Charles III outside Westminster Hall for the state funeral this morning

Kate Middleton arrives with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at Westminster Abbey for the state funeral this morning

Kate Middleton arrives with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at Westminster Abbey for the state funeral this morning

Kate Middleton arrives with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at Westminster Abbey for the state funeral this morning

Kate Middleton arrives with Prince George and Princess Charlotte at Westminster Abbey for the state funeral this morning

The Princess of Wales arrives ahead of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey this morning

The Princess of Wales arrives ahead of the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey this morning

Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales and Prince George of Wales arrive at Westminster Abbey today

Catherine, Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales and Prince George of Wales arrive at Westminster Abbey today

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrives at Westminster Abbey for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II this morning

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrives at Westminster Abbey for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II this morning

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex walks outside the Westminster Abbey on the day of Queen Elizabeth II's funeral today

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex walks outside the Westminster Abbey on the day of Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral today

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrives at Westminster Abbey for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II this morning

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex arrives at Westminster Abbey for the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II this morning

At 12.15pm, the coffin will be taken in procession from Westminster Abbey to Wellington Arch and then travel to Windsor.

The hearse will then travel in procession to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle via the Long Walk, after which a televised committal service will take place in St George’s Chapel at 4pm.

The Dean of Windsor will conduct the service, with prayers said by the Rector of Sandringham, the Minister of Crathie Kirk and the Chaplain of Windsor Great Park.

The chapel’s choir will sing and after the penultimate hymn, the imperial state crown, the orb and the sceptre will be moved from the Queen’s coffin to the altar.

After the final hymn, the King will place the Queen’s Company Camp Colour of the Grenadier Guards on the coffin, while the Lord Chamberlain breaks his Wand of Office and places it on the coffin.

The Dean of Windsor will say a psalm and the Commendation while the Queen’s coffin is lowered into the royal vault.

SATURDAY -- Prince William and Prince Harry with Queen Elizabeth II's other grandchildren for a a vigil at Westminster Hall

SATURDAY — Prince William and Prince Harry with Queen Elizabeth II’s other grandchildren for a a vigil at Westminster Hall

LAST WEDNESDAY - Members of the Royal Family follow behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II through Westminster

LAST WEDNESDAY – Members of the Royal Family follow behind the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II through Westminster

SEPTEMBER 8 -- The Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the Long Walk at Windsor Castle

SEPTEMBER 8 — The Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on the Long Walk at Windsor Castle

After this, the Sovereign’s Piper will play a lament and the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will pronounce the blessing, before the congregation sings the national anthem.

Ahead of the service, Mr Welby said: ‘We come together to give thanks for a long life, lived in service to her people and her saviour, Jesus Christ.’

Later in the evening, there will be a private interment service with senior members of the royal family, where the Queen will be reunited with her beloved husband the Duke of Edinburgh.

The Queen’s final resting place will be the King George VI memorial chapel, an annex to the main chapel where her mother and father were buried, along with the ashes of her sister, Princess Margaret.

Philip’s coffin will move from the royal vault to the memorial chapel to join the Queen’s.



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