Though Prince Harry is not yet a royal colonel, the position could very well be in his future


Brothers Prince William and Prince Harry have different roles during the Trooping the Colour processional.

During the festivities on Saturday, which celebrate the Queen’s official birthday, Harry noticeably wasn’t riding horseback alongside his father, Prince Charles, and brother, Prince William.

Instead, he was seated alongside wife Meghan Markle (in her first official royal outing since welcoming baby Archie!), his sister-in-law Kate Middleton and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall in one of the many carriages that carry the members of the royal family to Buckingham Palace in the annual event’s traditional parade. In years past, he’s sat in the same carriage as Kate and Camilla.

But why doesn’t Harry get to ride on horseback like William and Charles do? Well, it’s a matter of position.

Trooping the Colour
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry
| Credit: Tim Rooke/Shutterstock
Trooping the Colour
Prince William
| Credit: DAVID HARTLEY/Shutterstock

Prince William and Prince Charles are royal colonels, which is a position given by the Queen to a member of the royal family that serves as Colonel-in-Chief of a regiment in the British army or navy. In addition to William and Charles, Prince Philip, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew and Prince Edward are all royal colonels, as is the Queen herself, and a number of other royal cousins, like the Duke of Kent and The Duke of Gloucester.

Trooping the Colour
Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Andrew
| Credit: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP/Getty Images

However, not all royal colonels get to ride on horseback during Trooping the Color. Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, is also a royal colonel, as is Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and neither of them have ever ridden on horseback during the celebratory day — neither does Prince Andrew or Prince Edward. The Queen and Prince Philip also ride in a carriage (though the Queen has ridden on horseback in the past!), but at 93 and 96, respectively, we can’t say we blame them.

That’s because Charles, William and Anne are all Colonels of the Household Division, which affords them that special privilege.

Typically, the carriages are filled with members of the same “immediate” family — Prince Andrew with Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, Prince Edward and Sophie with their children, Lady Louise and Viscount James.

Though Prince Harry is not yet a royal colonel, the position could very well be in his future. His history of involvement in the military aside, as all the Queen’s children are royal colonels, Harry could become one when Prince Charles eventually is king. Or earlier, if the Queen decides to bestow the title upon him.