The Duke of Sussex didn't wear his poppy pin on his lapel like the rest of the royal family for a special reason

By Simon Perry
November 11, 2019 04:58 PM

When Prince Harry solemnly stood at attention and stepped forward to lay his tribute wreath for fallen war heroes on Remmebrance Sunday, some observers wondered why the former Army captain wasn’t wearing a poppy pin on his uniform.

But the royal was wearing his poppy — an artificial flower that has been used since 1921 to commemorate military members who have died in war — only it was hard to spot as it was tucked above his left ear and pinned to his Royal Marine cap.

Harry placed the poppy on his cap — and not on his lapel like the rest of the royals — because he was following orders. According to Royal Marine rules, which follows the Royal Navy as it is a branch of that armed service, he has to wear his paper poppy on his cap behind the cap badge, a royal source tells PEOPLE.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Credit: Karwai Tang/WireImage
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge
Credit: WIktor Szymanowicz/Getty Images
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Harry, 35, was wearing a ceremonial uniform of the Royal Marines in his role as Captain General of the regiment — a position he took over from his grandfather Prince Philip almost two years ago.

Harry and his wife Meghan Markle were at the ceremony in central London as they joined other members of the royal family in marking the annual commemoration of those who have fought in world wars and other conflicts.

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex
Prince Harry and Prince William
| Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage

Standing above Harry and his brother Prince William at the solemn ceremony were Queen Elizabeth, Kate Middleton and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall at one balcony, while Meghan watched from the balcony of another window. This year Meghan was joined by Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Sir Timothy Laurence, Princess Anne‘s husband.

For the past two years, the Queen chose not to lay a wreath at the ceremony but to hand the duty off to her son and heir, Prince Charles. The 93-year-old monarch followed this new tradition again, looking on at the proceedings as Charles offered tributes from his mother and himself.

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Queen Elizabeth II and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge
Credit: Samir Hussein/WireImage
Duchess of Sussex
Credit: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images

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The previous evening, Harry and Meghan, and William and Kate, had been among the family attending the annual Festival of Remembrance celebration at the Royal Albert Hall.