Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II last Thursday, the United Kingdom began a week of official mourning following the royal funeral on Monday, September 19.
This is one of many traditions especially for the British nation that may seem extravagant or strange to equestrian Americans, but are rooted in a long and honorable history. Another handful of these traditions concern the appropriate mourning clothes worn by the remaining royal family; These strict protocols must be observed, lest the Queen’s line be accused of disrespecting the dead.
Like many obscure royal decrees, the rules regarding funeral dress are not necessarily written down anywhere. There is no royal family etiquette manual. Rather, these traditions have been established, reinforced, and passed down over a century of hereditary inheritance, with significant events breaking with the status quo: In 1938, the Queen Mother wore a beautiful white dress to her mother’s funeral to counter the mood. About the coming war.
During Queen Elizabeth II’s period of mourning, when many public events are held in her honor, all but a few members of the royal family are required to wear military uniform on these occasions. Princess Anne, while dying with the Queen, has always looked very stylish in her military attire—in this case, the ceremonial uniform of the Royal Navy (she’s an admiral in the navy) and lots of medals.
Prince Andrew, the Queen’s second son, will not wear military uniform to all pre-funeral events except for one: at Westminster Hall. It is said that Andrew did this out of special respect for his mother.
Andrew was stripped of all his military ranks after Jeffrey Epstein’s accuser, Virginia Jeffrey Prince, accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was 17. The clothes worn on Monday are also a symbol of shame.
Another member of the royal family forced to part ways with them when they choose to step down from their working roles in 2020 is Prince Harry, who has been stripped of all his military ranks.
Unlike Andrew, Harry is not allowed to wear a military uniform for any mourning events for Elizabeth II. Harper’s Bazaar Reports. Prominent British royal commentators have already jumped in to criticize the palace’s decision.
“It’s a sad double standard here,” said Shola Moss-Shogbamimu. News week on Monday. This is my suggestion that the royal family are completely tone deaf and don’t read the episode and send the wrong message. I’m thinking about Charles. Hasn’t the Queen learned a thing or two about her reaction to her waiting for Prince Andrew? “
Prince Harry, meanwhile, seems to be trying to put an end to the drama. A spokesman said on Tuesday: “Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex will wear a morning suit as he honors his grandmother.” “A decade of military service is not defined by the uniform worn and we respectfully ask that the focus remain on the life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.”
New reports suggest that royal women will wear black hats with lace, net or tulle veils covering their faces at funerals on Monday, keeping with long-established traditions. Little is known about which designers Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, will call for dresses for the funeral.
Television journalists protesting the Queen’s death, reflecting anchors on the BBC and other British news channels, are American TV anchors. Norah O’Donnell of CBS and NBC’s Savannah Guthrie dressed in all black. The Daily Beast spoke to NBC and CBS about his comments.
On Sunday, William, Catherine, Harry and Meghan greeted mourners outside Windsor Castle. The couple wore coordinating outfits, with William and Harry both opting for dark navy blue suits, while Meghan and Catherine wore black, below-the-knee shift dresses with black stockings and black heels. For the women, these dresses are in line with the principles of royal protocol: no revealing ensembles are allowed and bare knees are strictly prohibited.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie were spotted outside Balmoral in a knee-length black ensemble.
Another rule, which seems to have been thrown aside, is that royal women are instructed not to wear black except for funerals and mourning. With Meghan, Catherine and indeed Princess Diana being photographed wearing black evening gowns for countless non-funeral events, this rule has unceremoniously expired.
The royal family’s strict adherence to appropriate burial clothing can be traced back to Queen Victoria, who wore black for the rest of her life, a total of 40 years, after the death of her husband, Prince Albert, in 1861.
As universal judges of propriety and decorum, it has long been customary for members of the royal family to bring a black ensemble with them wherever they travel in the event of a sudden death.
Lady Pamela Hicks, lady-in-waiting to the dying queen, revealed in a recent podcast that when Elizabeth’s father died suddenly while on a trip to Kenya in 1952, the future empress neglected to bring a black dress. As a result, Hicks said, Elizabeth II had to wait for her on the plane to touch down back in the United Kingdom, so that a black dress would come to her, so she would not be seen when she arrived in an inappropriate set. “The black dress was quickly smuggled on board, because we didn’t have a black dress,” Hicks explained. “So she had to change quickly.”