Prince Harry might not be allowed to wear his old Army uniform to his wedding unless he shaves his beard, a historian has warned.
The Prince, 33, served as part of the Army’s Household Cavalry’s Blues and Royals, formerly known as the Royal Horse Guards and the Royal Dragoons until 2015.
Training at Sandhurst before being deployed to Afghanistan, he was made a captain and regularly sports his old uniform on royal visits.
Harry never grew a beard as a soldier in line with the Army’s ban on facial hair, but grew one again a few months after he left the forces.
Historian Hugo Vickers claims his beard could cause problem when he marries Meghan Markle, 36, this month.
Prince Harry is pictured with facial hair left in November 2016 and without 10 years earlier at the same Armistice Day event right
Prince Harry and his brother Prince William, Duke of Cambridge at the Cenotaph in 2017
Clean-shaven Prince Harry on William and Kate’s wedding day 29 April 2011
He said: ‘He’s not able to wear his Royal Horse Guards uniform with a beard.
‘He does it sometimes but they don’t like it. That’s why when he took the parade at Sandhurst, he wore a suit.’
Despite the military’s beard ban, Harry is no longer a serving officer and is therefore not subject to their rules.
But in line with convention, there is a chance he might shave it off.
However Harry has been seen in military garb with a beard, much like his great-great-grandfather King George V, who was often seen with facial hair.
The bookies have 10/1 odds that Harry will shave off his beard for the big day.
Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: ‘It looks as though Harry’s beard will go and the groom will be well groomed ahead of the biggest day of his life.’
Prince Harry inspects the graduating officer cadets at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst in December 2017
Ministry of Defence rules do not allow beards, except in rare circumstances, such as because of skin complaints, or for religious reasons.
Sikhs are not allowed to cut their own hair, and can thus retain their beards while in uniform.
Special Forces or others on covert operations are also permitted to grow beards when behind enemy lines, but they would not wear them on parade.
Harry’s great-great-grandfather King George V (pictured) was often seen with a beard despite his role in the Army
Pioneer Sergeants are the only rank allowed to have a beard, although members of the Special Forces can when behind enemy lines.
In 2011 Prince Harry he wore a Blues and Royals uniform to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s wedding when he was clean shaven.
He had a beard when he wore a military dress coat at the Cenotaph last November, which prompted criticism from some quarters.
One serving member said at the time: ‘Prince Harry is letting us all down. There’s no place for beards in the Queen’s cavalry. He should have shaved it off for such an important day.’
As Captain General of the Royal Marines, it is thought Harry will wear that uniform to his wedding on May 19.
He recently took over the role from the Duke of Edinburgh after Prince Philip’s retirement.
The Duke of Edinburgh as Captain General of the Royal Marines, pictured without a beard
Royal Marines are allowed to sport beards, as long as senior officials give the green light.
Christopher Gale, senior curator of The National Museum of the Royal Navy in Portsmouth, explained what Harry’s dark blue Royal Marines uniform would look like on his wedding day should he select it.
His trousers would feature a red stripe down the side and he would wear a crimson and gold sash around his waist, and his hat would be a peaked cap with a white crown and red band.
Prince Harry is pictured at Camp Baston in Afghanistan without a beard
Mr Gale said: ‘For formal occasions, the Captain General would normally wear the uniform of a Royal Marines General Officer.
‘This would predominantly follow the Army pattern uniform including the dark blue tunic, dark blue trousers with a wide red stripe down the leg and a crimson and gold waist sash.’
‘Particular differences for the Royal Marines General Officer include the tunic buttons and the Royal Marines pattern peaked cap with a white crown and red band.
‘However, the cap badge would be of the Army General Officer’s type, rather than a Globe and Laurel.
‘The rank badges on the shoulders of the uniform would be the rank of a Field Marshal.’
The rank of Captain General, the ceremonial head of the Royal Marines, stems from 1882 when Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, was made Honorary Colonel of the Royal Marines.
The title was changed to Colonel-in-Chief when the Duke of Cornwall and York, later King George V, was appointed in 1901.
George VI then changed the title to Captain General in 1948, and the Duke of Edinburgh was appointed to the role after Elizabeth II’s coronation.