Prince Harry is in trouble for keeping his beard while wearing his military uniform

Cenotaph Rememberance parade

I think it must be pretty great to be a dude in most societies, but there’s got to be one dealbreaker for the Everything Is Awesome For Dudes Party: facial hair, and the written and unwritten rules regarding facial hair. Personally, I like scruffy, furry dudes and I think most men look better and more bangable with some scruff. I’m very “come as you are” with regards to facial hair. But I’m not the military establishment. Prince Harry has been rocking a beard – of various thicknesses – over the past few years. I think he started growing it about two years ago and just never shaved it. The Queen is said to be a beard-hater, but I guess Harry doesn’t care. Now he’s being criticized for wearing his British Army uniform (on Remembrance Sunday) while wearing a beard. Apparently, there are very important beard rules.

Prince Harry has been accused of breaking military rules by wearing a beard while on official duty in a British Army uniform. The 33-year-old left the military in 2015 but appeared at the Cenotaph in London for the Remembrance Sunday service with a full beard. Despite no longer being a member of the armed forces, a serving military member in the elite cavalry regiment was unhappy that Prince Harry had not shaved for the occasion.

They said: ‘Prince Harry is letting us all down. There’s no place for beards in the Queen’s cavalry. He should have shaved it off for such an important day.’

Prince William and Prince Andrew both appeared at the Remembrance Sunday service clean shaven, yet Prince Harry had a beard when paying his respects at the Cenotaph service in London. The British Army rules does not allow beards, except in a few rare circumstances, such as when a soldier is suffering from a skin complaint, or has strong religious reasons for retaining facial hair. Sikhs are not allowed to cut their own hair, and can thus retain their beards while in uniform, for example.

However as Prince Harry is no longer a serving officer, MoD rules do not require him to comply with any of these regulations. His royal duties do sometimes require him to don a military uniform, but there is precedent for a royal doing so with facial hair – his great-great-grandfather, King George V, sported a beard. Harry now concentrates on charity work and other Royal duties, but would normally be expected to abide by military regulations when in uniform.

[From The Daily Mail]

There’s a lot of additional information about beards and the military rules regarding beards in that Daily Mail article. I found it interesting, and I would assume that the American military has similar rules regarding facial hair. But this brought up a series of questions that I have about British people and Harry specifically:

If Harry is no longer IN the British Army, why is he expected to wear his dress uniform for a parade?
Isn’t it just sort of established that the British military can’t really say sh-t about royals in uniform?
How prissy are the people complaining about Harry’s beard?
Do you think Harry will actually shave at any point in the next year?
Will the Queen force Harry to shave his beard before the wedding?

Westminster Abbey Field of Remembrance

Westminster Abbey Field of Remembrance

Photos courtesy of WENN.

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

47 Responses to “Prince Harry is in trouble for keeping his beard while wearing his military uniform”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Originaltessa says:

    I just figured that once you’re no longer actively serving, the grooming requirements get more lax? Guess not.

  2. BreeInSEA says:

    In the US military, men can have mustaches but not beards. I personally don’t mind him sporting it. If hes a royal, he should be given leniency (Cause, Royal). He’s definitely not disrespecting the uniform either.

    • Kiki says:

      I think that because he is a royal, rules should be harsher on him because of all the privileges he already has.

  3. HH says:

    I like this more trimmed and together beard. That’s my preferred look. Neat and (gentle)manly.

  4. Nicole Savannah, GA says:

    I hope he never shaves it off! Love the scruff.

  5. Nilber says:

    Men cannot have a beard in the US military either. There are a few exceptions to the rule and those are special forces and those who carry a shaving waiver. Some men really can’t handle shaving their faces every day. Those with a waiver will carry a profile, DD 3349, at all times in case they are asked for it.

  6. Citresse says:

    It’s ridiculous. Didn’t Prince Philip serve with a beard during WW2? And didn’t HM keep a photo of a bearded Philip with his letters?
    Harry looks good with the beard, he should keep it.

    • Anatha A says:

      It depends on which regiment they serve. Prince Philip was in the navy and officers can have a beard in the navy (even though it isn’t recommended). Harry’s regiment bans all beards.

  7. LAK says:

    Long may ginger Captain Haddock reign!!

    • notasugarhere says:

      Harry, Haakon of Norway, Felipe of Spain. Royal men who should never shave their beards.

      • LAK says:

        Felipe looks good with and without a beard.

        I was deeply shocked at a beardless Haakon. Definitely a face that is improved by a beard.

      • notasugarhere says:

        IMO Felipe looks too much like his mother when he is clean shaven.

        Haakon was beardless for most of his adult life. He first grew one during their two week honeymoon in New York state, which happened to coincide with 9/11.

  8. Nic919 says:

    I find it more offensive when royals who have never actively served wear uniforms. Like Charles and William. This is akin to tin pot dictators who decorate themselves with unearned military paraphernalia.

    • Megan says:

      Charles served in the navy and William served in the air force. Both are entitled to wear military uniforms.

      • Nic919 says:

        It was specially designed royal treatment for them. Neither actually served when wars were happening and no one who is in real active service would be able to avoid getting deployed. Andrew went to the Falklands and Harry went to Afghanistan and actually served.
        William also barely did what he was supposed to and would have been court martialled for his behaviour had he not been a royal.

      • Nick says:

        @Nic919 just because you’re active duty doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to be deployed. I know plenty of current and former military personal who served during varying degrees of conflict without being deployed to an active war zone.

      • Llamas says:

        Um nic…my father and grandfather both served in the military and neither of them were sent out to a war zone. It’s hugely disrespectful to say that going to war is what determines if you’re really in the military.

      • DTrain says:

        @Nic, your comment is immensely offensive to anyone who has chosen to serve but wasn’t called to conflict. Immensely offensive.

      • Bella Dupont says:

        @ Nick, Llamas and DTrain

        I doubt Nic919 meant to cause offense….sounds like she just didn’t realise the details….just like i didn’t realise you could be in the army and not be deployed (sounds silly now that i think about it…..)

        Question…..how in that case do some people end up being deployed several separate times if you have some people who haven’t been deployed even once…?

      • Nick says:

        @Bella If she doesn’t have the basic knowledge of how the military works, then she has no right to take offense on their behalf. As for your question, there is a reason its called the “military machine”. Its not just one part but many working together. There are a lot of jobs within the military besides combat solider. You have electricians, mechanics, clerics, engineers, medical, SEABEES, lawyers, intelligence, instructors, MP’s, etc. Each one trained for their specific job within the military. The reason certain people are deployed more than once is because that is their job, they have been specially trained to be front line fighters. They aren’t going to send a soldier who has spent years on a submarine to fight in the middle of the desert. It all depends on what job you have.

  9. Abs says:

    He isn’t in any trouble. As the MoD says he IS allowed to have a beard. So why the article and headline? Because one anonymous person complained? He had his beard for more than two years now, people better get used to it.

    • Princessk says:

      True, Harry isn’t in any trouble this is yet another DM article trying to stir things up when there isn’t any controversy. I would bet that the ‘anonymous’ complainant has been completely fabricated by DM, they stoop lower and lower.

  10. Sixer says:

    Kaiser – vis a vis ex-servicemen and uniforms: I think, but am not fully sure as Mr Sixer is still at work, that British forces veterans can wear their dress uniforms (nicknamed blue and whites or mess dress) when and if at various ceremonies or events. They put an R for retired somewhere on it. Not that many do though. You wouldn’t see retired vets out and about in uniform on a regular basis.

    But most of the royals at Remembrance Day and other such occasions are wearing honorary uniforms as honorary officers of various regiments.

    • notasugarhere says:

      Daily Fail trying to make a fuss where none is required and the MOD issued a statement about it to the DF. I think the article was re-written to add the fact (at the end) that it isn’t a problem.

      “A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence told MailOnline: ‘On background I can confirm that Prince Harry is no longer a serving officer and therefore does not have to comply with any of these regulations. He is, however, a member of the Royal Family and at times his duties require him to don the uniform of a tied or associated regiment and does so with a beard, as did his great-great-grandfather before him.’”

    • Sixer says:

      He’s in from work now!

      On the point of retirees/ex-service people generally, he says that whatever the rules, nobody wears full uniform once retired. But people going to Remembrance Day services and the like would wear berets and/or a blazer with their regimental badge on it.

      Royals are completely different because their uniforms represent honorary figurehead officer positions. So, while the Orange One is your commander-in-chief, the Queen is ours but it’s in an honorary capacity.

    • Nick says:

      In the States, retired military can wear their service dress uniforms at certain events. They usually include military funerals and state run parades and events (like a Veterans Day event). If they served honorably during a war they are allowed to wear the highest rank you earned during that service. Also if you are a Medal of Honor recipient, you can wear your uniform at will.

  11. lala says:

    confession: I have an un-natural love for beards, and the men who sport them. Mr Lala sports a fine red beard and I would (and have!) cried when he’s shaved it down to a goatee!

  12. aang says:

    Which King looked exactly like Czar Nicholas? George V? (sorry not British, so guessing) He always had a beard in uniform pics.

    • Maria says:

      King George V. And they were cousins. Prince Michael tried to copy the look, and Matshmallow Jimmy is trying too.

  13. Joannie says:

    I despise hair on a man’s face. So unprofessional looking imo.

    • jwoolman says:

      Just as a practical matter, the kind of beard Harry has makes a lot of sense. Short enough to not get in the way and easy to keep clean while washing the rest of the face. I can’t imagine how gruesome it would be to actually run a razor over your face every day, even though so many men do it. Facial hair is very natural. Shaving really isn’t.

      I also wish women would come to love their hair on other parts of the body as well. We don’t have to look like hairless children.

  14. Maria says:

    I have seen Prince Edward in a uniform. Didn’t he drop out of the marines?

  15. perplexed says:

    What does Ingrid Seward say about this?

    His beard doesn’t matter to me either way, but after her discussion about cutlery I do find Prince Harry’s alleged “mis-step” a little funny.

  16. spidey says:

    A member as in one member! Wow really kicked up a storm.

  17. mynameispearl says:

    If Harry shaves that beard his facial structure collapses completely. The resurgence of the beard trend has been a total boon for men like Harry with weak chins (the Royals are so inbred that they’re mostly totally unattractive conventionally). Plus his hair is thinning big time on top so it balances out. Basically that beard is going nowhere for no-one…

    • Polly says:

      + 1 I agree he’s keeping the beard to balance out the thinning hair. I’m not a fan of beards in general, but some men do look better with them, particularly those without a strong jaw. I doubt he’ll ever get rid of it.

  18. Dr. Mrs. The Monarch says:

    Harry obviously knew the beard was against his regiment’s standards. He obviously made an effort to make it presentable by keeping it very well-trimmed and neat. It would also be perfectly acceptable for him to wear a suit and tie with medals and decorations. But the BRF loves to dress up in uniforms even when it isn’t necessary at all (neither Harry nor William had to wear uniforms to Will’s wedding- that was a personal choice).

    The simplest solution-one that is only possible for a royal- is to ask his Grandmother to give him the patronage of a navy unit. I bet his Grandfather would happily hand one over. Then Harry can keep his beard and wear his fancy uniform all he likes.

  19. Lainey says:

    Harry’s had the beard for years its never been a problem at this engagement until this year. The fact the MOD had to release a statement saying the rule didnt apply as Harry’s no longer a serving member of the army on Remembrance Sunday is ridiculous. Im not even British and I knew this. His great-grandfather led the service with a bears for many years. The Duke of Kent (or maybe it was Prince Michael) had a beard at the service as well for years. Shame on the Daily Mail for making this up and taking focus away from what the days actually about. The article was one of the most clicked and commented on on Sunday.

  20. Lilly says:

    Tradition.
    Yeah, well I hope so.
    Very. #muymasprissy
    I hope not.
    Better not.