Prince Harry will wear the ceremonial uniform of the Royal Marines when he marries Meghan Markle on Saturday, the regiment believes.
The Prince will wear the uniform as a mark of respect to the regiment he took over as Captain General from his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh.
Men from the regiment will line the route from St George’s Chapel, at Windsor Castle, to provide a ceremonial guard of honour.
Palace officials will not confirm what the Prince is to wear for his wedding to Ms Markle, but soldiers of the Royal Marines who have volunteered to take part understand he will be wearing the same ceremonial regalia, or ‘Blues’, as them on the day.
Other options include the uniform of the Household Cavalry, where Prince Harry served with the Blues and Royals, or morning dress.
Corporal Adam Caunter, who will form part of a Half Company from 30 Commando IX Group Royal Marines performing the royal salute as the couple pass by in their carriage, on their way to greet the crowds lining the streets, said: “I think he’ll be in his Blues, which is what we’ll be wearing, and that gives us a special connection. It’s something we’re very proud of.”
Prince Philip had been Captain General of the Royal Marines for 64 years until last year, when he relinquished the title in favour of Prince Harry, who is also Commodore in Chief of the Royal Navy’s Small Ships and Diving divisions, in 2017. A Half Company of sailors will also line the route.
For Crpl Caunter and his comrades it will be just like sending off one of their own.
“His history reflects ours. He’s one of us. He’s served in the front line, just as we have,” said Crpl Caunter, 28, who served in the Philippines, providing humanitarian relief following devastating hurricane in 2013.
The men have spent days at HMS Collingwood, in Hampshire, repeatedly practicing the drills required to provide the ceremonial guard outside the chapel on Saturday.
The Royal Marines — who trace their history back to 1664, when the Duke of York and Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot was founded to fight on land as well as on sea — will be wearing their Ceremonial Dress 1A Full Blues with their traditional Wolsley Pattern sun helmets and carrying SA80 assault rifles with chrome plated bayonets. The sailors will be in No1 A dress uniform..
Each one of the men volunteered for the duty, determined to give Prince Harry a special send off.
“There is a personal link between Prince Harry and the men,” said Royal Navy Warrant Officer 1 Eddie Wearing, who has drilled the troops and will be issuing their orders on the day of the wedding. “It adds something to the occasion because he has experienced what they have. It makes their relationship closer.
“They respect what he is because as an officer who has seen active service he has done what they have. It’s not just the active service he has seen, but also the work he’s done of wounded vets, such as the Invictus Games. They respect that.”