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Prince Harry reveals Queen Elizabeth's secret reaction to 'violation of protocol' at royal wedding

Prince William was 'livid' that Harry asked the Queen to break the norm at his wedding

Queen Elizabeth II in a pink dress and Prince Harry in a suit on Derby Day© Getty
Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
May 4, 2023
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The Duke of Sussex's wedding outfit left his brother Prince William "livid", but how did his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II feel about the "clear violation of protocol?"

For his royal wedding with Meghan Markle in May 2018, Prince Harry stepped out in his black Household Cavalry frock coat with a matching hat, with his ginger hair in a short curled style and his beard carefully trimmed. The latter was said to be a source of contention among the family, he revealed in another surprise confession released in Spare.

Prince Harry kisses his wife Meghan Markle following their royal wedding© Getty
Prince Harry wore a black military uniform and sported a beard at his royal wedding

"A beard was thought by some to be a clear violation of protocol and long-standing norms, especially since I was getting married in my Army uniform. Beards were forbidden in the British Army. But I was no longer in the Army and I desperately wanted to hang on to something that had become an effective check on my anxiety," Harry explained, adding it calmed him following his voyage to the South Pole.

"Also, my wife-to-be had never seen me without it. She loved my beard, she loved to grab it and pull me in for a kiss. I didn’t want her coming down the aisle and seeing a total stranger.

"I explained all this to Granny, and she said she understood. Plus, her own husband liked to rock a bit of scruff now and then. 'Yes', she said, 'You may keep your beard.' But then I explained it to my brother and he...bristled? 'Not the done thing', he said. Military, rules, so forth."

WATCH: The sweet words Prince Harry said to dad King Charles at wedding to Meghan Markle

Harry later claimed that William was angered when he found out that the late Queen had granted Harry permission to keep his beard, leading to a week-long argument between the brothers. 

"You put her in an uncomfortable position, Harold! She had no choice but to say yes," William reportedly said to Harry, who suggested that his reaction stemmed from the fact that the Prince of Wales was not permitted to keep his facial hair or wear the outfit of his choosing on his own wedding day in 2011. 

"He hated the idea of me enjoying a perk he’d been denied," Harry wrote.

Queen Elizabeth II in a blue coat next to smiling Meghan Markle and Prince Harry© Getty
Prince Harry reportedly got Queen Elizabeth II's permission to keep his beard

Instead, William wore his red Irish Guards uniform to mark his highest military rank at the time, something that caused him to become "frustrated".

Harry and Meghan tied the knot at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle after William supposedly suggested they choose a different venue from the ones used by himself and Kate and King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla. 

Prince William and Kate Middleton waving to crowds following their royal wedding in 2011© Getty
Prince William was clean-shaven at his royal wedding

Meghan looked stunning in a Clare Waight Keller by Givenchy wedding dress, complete with a bateau neckline, cropped sleeves and a fitted waist. She added a 16.5-foot silk tulle veil adorned with embroidered flowers, which was also a controversial choice for a divorcee, Harry said. 

"Ms. Waight Keller designed a veil representing the distinctive flora of all 53 Commonwealth countries united in one spectacular floral composition," Buckingham Palace explained at the time.

FIND OUT: Prince Harry reveals King Charles' 'boyish' reaction to Meghan Markle ahead of wedding

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