Prince Harry, Prince William and King Charles are still feuding, not meeting

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The fact that Queen Elizabeth’s funeral was planned so intricately decades in advance that it would run like clockwork has long been a cliché of British establishment life.

Operation London Bridge, as the general plan has always been known, began to be outlined from the first days of his reign in the 1950s.

Yet on Thursday night, less than four days before the biggest state event seen in Britain in living memory, with the largest gathering of foreign heads of state the world has ever known on British soil, plans were They turned into a fantasy. masquerade as a charade, as it seemed that Prince Harry had prevailed in a bitter dispute over whether or not she should be allowed to wear his military uniform during at least some of the ceremonies.

the daily mirror respected royal correspondent Russell Myers reported that Harry will now be able to wear his Blues and Royals regimental uniform at a special vigil for the queen on Saturday.

Myers quoted “a real source” as saying: “Common sense has prevailed. It was a ridiculous situation given that the Duke of Sussex has served his country and is a highly respected member of the armed forces with all that he has done for veterans.”

Britain’s Prince Harry (left), Duke of Sussex, and Britain’s Prince William (right), Prince of Wales, react as the coffin of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II arrives at the Palace of Westminster, following a procession from Buckingham Palace, London, in September. 14, 2022.

ALKIS KONSTANTINIDIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

It will be interesting to see how Harry plays out this win over the establishment. But one suspects he is something of a pyrrhic and will do little to quell his irritation and anger at what he sees as the institutionalized cruelty of the palace which, as recently as Wednesday, essentially sought to belittle him and advertise his outcast status by not allowing him to wear a uniform. military service or offer a royal salute to the queen as she processioned behind her coffin in London.

For their part, the royals remain nervous about the content of Harry’s memoir, whether propriety means its publication was delayed or not. The family feud continues, no matter how many carefully choreographed royal appearances raise hopes of reconciliation between Harry and Prince William.

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle inside the Palace of Westminster during Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral on September 14.

Christopher Furlong/Getty

“Nothing has really changed,” a royal family friend tells The Daily Beast in response to a query about the true state of relations between Prince Harry on the one hand and his brother and the rest of his family of origin on the other. the other. “The expectation is that once the mourning period is over, Harry and Meghan return to California, he publishes his book and the family is left here to pick up the pieces.”

Another source told The Daily Beast that there was still “intense” concern among the royal family about Harry’s book containing very damaging revelations about his father. The source added that while the palace believes it can ignore the attacks from Meghan, who is largely discredited in the UK media which has pounced on a number of inaccuracies in her various interviews, which many of her supporters attribute this media animosity to racism. Her son’s attack on King Charles would have a completely different level of credibility. It would be the ultimate insider takedown.

Previously, the palace tried to portray Harry’s ban on wearing a uniform as a practical and legal matter.

For those not up to speed on the arcana of British dress codes, legally in the UK only active duty members of the military can wear a uniform. When Harry left the royal family, he was forced to relinquish his honorary military duties. It’s those roles that technically grant membership in the military to other royals. Edward, for example, may have given up training after four months for a career in the theater, but he is Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

There was general amazement when it turned out that Prince Andrew, the one with the sex case settlement, would be allowed to wear his uniform (Vice Admiral, in case you were wondering) to a vigil for the Queen on Saturday. The palace said this was like a “special mark of respect to the queen”.

Questions about why Harry wouldn’t be allowed to show a similar show of respect, especially since he hadn’t paid millions of dollars to a woman who accused him of raping her, naturally occurred to him, most of all, it is assumed, of Harry himself. who was forced to issue a statement that said, rather irritably: “Prince Harry will wear a suit tomorrow during events in honor of his grandmother. His decade of military service is not determined by the uniform he wears and we respectfully ask that the focus remain on the life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”

Now, however, after public disbelief (and, quite possibly, private lobbying by Harry and his supporters) comes the nastiest of things: a political U-turn. Turns out it’s in the monarch’s gift to change the rules about army uniforms and who can wear them. As the head of the army, not to mention the state, this is not a big surprise.

First came the tantrums filmed with ballpoint pens, then the firing of 100 employees while the queen’s body was barely cold; now the chaotic messiness of the funeral dress code deals another significant blow to King Charles’s attempts to present himself as a safe pair of hands.

Of course, there is the possibility that Harry will have to delay the publication of his book, especially to acknowledge the queen’s death, but no one expects it to be canceled on the grounds that King Charles commented: “I also want to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives abroad,” or this chaotic U-turn to allow her to wear a uniform.

Prince William and Prince Harry walk behind the coffin during Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral procession on September 14.

Chris Jackson/Getty

The enmity will not be undone so easily.

The royals are no doubt delighted that the news has been awash with stories of reconciliation. But she takes a step back and asks what has really happened. Well, one admittedly uncharitable way of looking at it is that Harry and William managed to breathe the same air on two carefully selected occasions.

You could have cut the atmosphere with a knife, but luckily neither brother was armed.

But the temperature in Windsor on Saturday when the two brothers showed up with their wives for an impromptu walk was well below freezing. They couldn’t even bring themselves to meet each other’s eyes, much less put a brotherly arm around their shoulders.

You could have cut the atmosphere with a knife, but luckily neither brother was armed.

The alacrity with which William claimed the title of peacemaker in the wake of the apparition probably annoyed Harry. Sources in William’s camp told reporters that the joint appearance was William’s initiative even as the engagement was taking place.

Catherine, Princess of Wales, Prince William, Prince of Wales, Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meet members of the public at the Long Walk at Windsor Castle on September 10, 2022 in Windsor, England. .

Kirsty O’Connor/WPA Pool/Getty

On Wednesday, as the two brothers processioned behind the queen’s coffin, they were side by side, but a world apart.

Harry did his duty admirably. He showed no emotion apart from sadness at the queen’s death as he wiped her eyes as he stood behind William in Westminster Hall.

If the story about Harry’s uniform reversal is confirmed, and the palace hasn’t responded to The Daily Beast’s request for comment, it will put a lot of pressure on Harry to be able to wear his uniform to the funeral as well.

The problem now facing the palace, if it tries to uphold the ban on Harry wearing a uniform at Monday’s funeral, is obvious. Charles’s own actions will have belied the argument that it is unfortunately not constitutionally possible.

The tantalizing possibility of Harry wearing a uniform to the funeral itself would be a huge victory for him and an utter humiliation for his father, the new king, entirely of his own making.


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