Harry and Meghan

The Queen Gave Harry Permission To Keep His Beard

Harry and Meghan

Prince Harry was given special permission by The Queen to sport facial hair while wearing a uniform for his wedding yesterday.

It is protocol to be clean-shaven when dressing in Army uniform, this raised some questions about whether Harry was going to shave his beard for his big day.

Harry and Prince William both wore the frockcoat uniform of the Blues and Royals

So to keep his beard, the newly appointed Duke of Sussex had to gain permission to keep his facial hair.

In a statement, Kensington Palace said:

"Her Majesty The Queen gave her permission for Prince Harry to get married in his uniform."

It is understood that the permission covered the fact that Harry has a beard.

According to historian Hugo Vickers, Harry may have been granted permission as he is retired from active service.

There are only a few exceptions in the British Army which allow for servicemen to have a beard, such as skin complaints, or for religious reasons.

It is also understood that members of the Special Forces can keep a beard when behind enemy lines.

Pioneer Sergeants are the only rank allowed to have a beard. 

Harry and William

A royal bridegroom sporting a beard on their big day is a rarity. None of the current Royal Family had facial hair on their own wedding days.

But the Queen's grandfather, George V, did have a beard when he married Mary of Teck.

Mr Vickers said:

"Theoretically the Army don't like it which is why at one point he took the Salute at Sandhurst in a suit."

"But on the other hand if you think back to King George V, who had a beard, obviously he was Admiral of the Fleet but he was also a Field Marshall and he often wore Army uniform with a beard,

"I think if you've retired from the Army you probably do need somebody's permission to wear your old uniform.

"But I think the statement covers all those possibilities."

In December, Harry wore a dark suit and overcoat, with medals on the outside, when he represented the Queen and inspected graduating officer cadets at the Sovereign's Parade at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Camberley, Surrey.

Harry's uniform revealed that sometime after leaving the Army in 2015 he was promoted to the rank of major, an honour that was bestowed by the Queen.

Prince Harry

It is the Queen's right to promote senior members of the royal family to high ranking military appointments.

Harry left the forces in June 2015 and was first spotted with a beard in September the same year.

He had a beard when he wore a military dress coat at the Cenotaph last November, which prompted criticism from some quarters.

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