Last November I had the honor of meeting Prince Harry at the Field of Remembrance held at Westminster Abbey. I was in the UK for the launch of my book, The Flag, and as the Royal British Legion didn't clear me to march on Remembrance Sunday, my regimental association kindly allowed me to represent them at this annual event instead.
When Prince Harry arrived at Westminster Abbey, I was a little taken aback by the fact that he was in uniform with a beard. It was something I had not seen before; officers in the Army are not normally permitted to grow a beard. I will admit to being a little starstruck, and as I had only just arrived in the UK I was jet-lagged too, so I thought nothing more of it.
This morning on the Today Show, Carson Daly and Co were discussing whether Harry should shave off the beard for his wedding next Tuesday. I heard someone comment that "he cannot have a beard and wear his uniform." Now, I hate to be the one that corrects them, but as far as I am aware, Prince Harry is no longer a serving officer, therefore he is not bound by Queen's Regulations, who happens to be his granny! Also, there is the fact that he is a member of the Royal Family, and there has been a long history of members of royalty in uniform with a beard.
The one thing I do remember when Prince Harry arrived at Westminster Abbey, was how he reminded of his great, great grandfather, King George V. I had seen many photographs of him unveiling the new Cenotaph and attending the burial of the Unknown Warrior on Armistice Day 1920. Whatever he chooses to do on Tuesday, I hope it's his choice. But I'm also hoping he follows tradition from almost a century ago, and keeps the whiskers.