Queen Elizabeth II has asked all the members of her family to wear suits instead of traditional military outfits at her husband Prince Philip's funeral, amid increasing pressure to decide whether her son Prince Andrew and grandson Prince Harry should be allowed to wear their uniforms.
The last-minute decision, which comes at a time when rehearsals for the funeral have already started, was approved by the queen in order to present a united family front. If the decision wasn't taken, Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince Edward, and Princess Anne would have attended the ceremony in military uniforms while non-working royals with military experience- Prince Andrew and Prince Harry, would have been in suits, reports Mail Online.
"There was the risk of real embarrassment," a source told the outlet.
While the queen has made an attempt to unite her family, she will herself have to sit alone at her husband's funeral due to the coronavirus pandemic. The social-distancing guidelines dictate that family members from different households must stay apart, and no member of the British royal family had been staying with the 94-year-old at her Windsor Castle.
"We have made it very clear that the service will be Covid compliant," a Buckingham Palace spokesperson reiterated to the Telegraph. The only person who might be able to sit with the Queen would be her late husband's private secretary, Brigadier Archie Miller-Bakewell, who according to the outlet is expected to be one of the 30 mourners allowed at the ceremony.
Meanwhile, British soldiers have started rehearsal drills at the Army Training Centre Pirbright in Woking, Surrey for the funeral. Soldiers from the Household Cavalry, Coldstream Guards, Welsh Guards, and the Royal Regiment of Scotland 4 Scots (the Highlanders) would be participating in the funeral at Windsor Castle on Saturday.
Lieutenant Commander Hywell Morgan, the commanding officer on HMS Magpie, said about the upcoming ceremony: "It's a slightly nerve-racking experience really. I don't think the magnitude of it has quite sunk in. It's an incredible privilege to be involved given the connection between the unit I currently command and the Duke of Edinburgh's own command back in the early 1950s."