July 28, 2021

Royal courtiers refuse Prince Harry’s request to lay Remembrance Sunday wreath on his behalf

Prince Harry’s request for a wreath to be laid at the Cenotaph on his behalf was refused by royal courtiers, it has emerged.

The Duke of Sussex had wanted to return to the UK for the event but would have had no official role, and was not invited, The Telegraph understands.

He was said to have been devastated when he was told to give up his military titles, including his role as Captain General of the Royal Marines, after stepping back from official royal duties earlier this year.

He is now prevented from wearing uniform at public events such Trooping the Colour and Remembrance Sunday.

In his absence, he asked Buckingham Palace officials if a member of the family could lay a wreath on his behalf, but was told it was not permitted.

The move signals the growing gulf between the Duke and the Royal Family as he pursues a new career with his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, in California.

The Duke first laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in 2009 at the age of 25.

The Sussexes flew to Canada shortly after the event last November.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry attend an Anzac Day Service of Commemoration and Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey on April 25, 2018  - Getty Images

The Duke, 36, told military podcast Declassified that wearing his military uniform was amongst “the greatest honours there are in life” as he marked this year’s event 5,000 miles away, at his new home in Montecito.

In an illustration of how much the military still means to him, the Duke spoke passionately about the importance of the community and his pride at being a veteran.

“Even when we can’t all be together, we always remember together,” he said.

“When I get asked about this period of my life I draw from memories, I draw from what I remember and who I remember,” he said.

“Like the first time we were shot at and who I was with, the first casualties we saw, and those we saved. And the first medivac we escorted out of contact in a race against time. One served always serving, no matter what.”

The Duke said that Remembrance Day for him was a moment for “respect and for hope.”

“I wear the Poppy to recognise all those who have served; the soldiers I knew, as well as those I didn’t,” he said.

“The soldiers who were by my side in Afghanistan, those who had their lives changed forever, and those that didn’t come home.

“I wear it to celebrate the bravery and determination of all our veterans, and their loved ones, especially those in our Invictus family. These are the people and moments I remember when I salute, when I stand at attention and when I lay a wreath at the Cenotaph.

“Being able to wear my uniform, being able to stand up in service of one’s country, these are amongst the greatest honours there are in life. To me, the uniform is a symbol of something much bigger, it’s symbolic of our commitment to protecting our country, as well as protecting our values.

“These values are put in action through service, and service is what happens in the quiet and in the chaos. It’s what happens in the darkness, it’s what happens when people aren’t looking.

“It’s what happens on and off the battlefield. It’s about carrying out our duty as soldiers. For me as a father, a husband and as a human being, it’s about how we uphold these values in every aspect of our lives.”

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