Prince William and Prince Harry will wear the same suits for their grandfather‘s funeral on Saturday to avoid a “rift”, a royal expert has said.
The Duke of Sussex is expected to dress in a suit for the service after he was stripped of his honorary military titles in Megxit. Prince William could wear his military uniform at the ceremonial service for Philip.
His active service with the armed forces ended in September 2013, however senior royals are treated as military members.
William also holds a number of ceremonial roles including Colonel of the Irish Guards and Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Navy Submarine Service.
But Richard Fitzwilliams said it was more likely he would wear a suit to avoid contrasting with Harry.
“This is obviously very sensitive,” Mr Fitzwilliams said.
“Anything that distinguished the brothers in that way, which would be so obvious for anyone watching, would probably be avoided.
“The whole thing we do not want is any form of rift.”
“I‘d suggest it would be handled in such a way as it goes totally smoothly without a hitch, and there are no issues.
“My opinion is that they would do everything possible to make sure that the spotlight on this very, very important day is where it should be, and that‘s on truly remarkable achievements of someone with superhuman energy who did so much for Queen and country.”
Harry’s positions as Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving were taken away when he stepped back from his role within the Royal Family.
However, while he could wear a suit for the funeral – and cannot wear a uniform that corresponds with his previous positions in the forces – it‘s possible he’ll instead wear a basic military uniform after his years of service.
Harry – who served in the Army for ten years, completed two tours of Afghanistan and was promoted to captain – was understood to be deeply upset by the decision to remove his titles.
He has now returned to the UK alone for the ceremony after his pregnant wife Meghan Markle was advised not to travel.
The Duke was seen getting off a British Airways flight from Los Angeles that arrived at Heathrow at 1.15pm yesterday. And his grandfather’s funeral will be his first ceremonial event since he and Meghan departed for the US.
But it was suggested that, while Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Edward would be expected to wear their ceremonial outfits for the service, Harry and his uncle, Prince Andrew, would be likely to wear suits.
The Duke of York stepped back from public life “for the foreseeable future” in 2019 over his friendship with the late convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
However, Mr Fitzwilliams said the funeral will offer the family an opportunity for a “show of unity” after Harry and Meghan’s “deeply damaging” Oprah interview.
Mr Fitzwilliams said: “Everybody knows there is an enormous amount of speculation, whatever happens on this issue.
“Relations between the brothers, we know perfectly well, are very strained.”
And the expert hopes the funeral may mark a new chapter for William and Harry.
“It may be the beginning of the healing process,” he said. “The Royal Family can come together as family, and it is certainly absolutely essential they present united front.
“Achieving that after the Oprah interview and so forth will be quite a feat, but I am sure that, given the circumstances, and given the fact that both Harry and William were devoted to their grandfather, there is a very good chance of achieving it.”
This article originally appeared in The Sun and was republished with permission