Prince Harry breaks military rules by wearing a beard

  • Prince Harry pictured with with prominent ginger facial hair at the Cenotaph 
  • A serving member of elite cavalry said Prince Harry has 'let us all down'
  • He left the Army in 2015, aged 31, after he was commissioned as a Cornet 
  • MOD spokesman said Prince Harry does not have to comply with regulations

By Peter Allen and Charlie Bayliss For Mailonline

Published: 07:59 EST, 12 November 2017 | Updated: 06:27 EST, 13 November 2017

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.'

British Army rules forbid all 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 
British Army rules forbid all 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 

British Army rules forbid all 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 

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.

Special Forces or others on covert operations are also permitted to grow beards when behind enemy lines, but they would not wear them on parade.

There is also a tradition that allows a very small number of Pioneer Sergeants to wear a beard when on official duty, but members of the Queen's personal guard have never been allowed to do so.

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.

The Queen, Harry's grandmother, is Colonel-in-Chief of the Blues and Royals, while the Colonel of the Regiment is Princess Anne, his aunt.

It is one of the two cavalry regiments of the Household Cavalry – the other is the Life Guards – and can trace its history back to Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army of the 17th Century.

Throughout the centuries, officers have been known for their clean-cut appearances, although some occasionally grew moustaches and connected side-whiskers, especially when serving in Muslim countries.

Britain's Prince William (centre), Prince Andrew (left) and a bearded Prince Harry (right) take part in the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph service in London
Britain's Prince William (centre), Prince Andrew (left) and a bearded Prince Harry (right) take part in the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph service in London

Britain's Prince William (centre), Prince Andrew (left) and a bearded Prince Harry (right) take part in the Remembrance Sunday Cenotaph service in London

Harry now concentrates on charity work and other Royal duties, but would normally be expected to abide by military regulations when in uniform
Harry now concentrates on charity work and other Royal duties, but would normally be expected to abide by military regulations when in uniform

Harry now concentrates on charity work and other Royal duties, but would normally be expected to abide by military regulations when in uniform

The Royal Navy – in which Harry's father, Prince Charles, served – has always been allowed beards, but officers are told to shave them off it they are not full enough
The Royal Navy – in which Harry's father, Prince Charles, served – has always been allowed beards, but officers are told to shave them off it they are not full enough

The Royal Navy – in which Harry's father, Prince Charles, served – has always been allowed beards, but officers are told to shave them off it they are not full enough

The Royal Navy – in which Harry's father, Prince Charles, served – has always been allowed beards, but officers are told to shave them off it they are not full enough.

Prince Harry left the Army in 2015, aged 31, after being commissioned as a Cornet, the equivalent of Second Lieutenant in the Blues and Royals, which after the Life Guards is the second most senior regiment in Britain.

Harry now concentrates on charity work and other Royal duties, but would normally be expected to abide by military regulations when in uniform. 


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