Royal Wedding 2018: Will Tradition Cause Prince Harry to Shave His Beard?

When it comes to judging a wedding party on their appearance, the main focus is usually on the bride and the style of her dress. However, when it comes to the Royal Wedding, Prince Harry's facial hair situation may end up taking the limelight.

Moreover, British military tradition calls for Harry to shave his beard before walking down the aisle. Further complicating his decision, Harry's beard is older than his relationship with soon-to-be wife Meghan Markle, meaning she has yet to see him clean-shaven.

While we won't know his ultimate decision until the couple says their "I-do's" Saturday, here at Zeus Beard, we gathered all the facts to form the best prediction.

First, what are the details of the Royal Wedding?

Zeus Beard debates Royal Wedding facial hair

Photo via Instagram / @kensingtonroyal

The Royal Wedding is set to take place Saturday, May 19, 2018 in St. George's Chapel of the Windsor Castle. Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury will officiate the couple's vows in front of their 600 invited guests.

Zeus Beard debates Royal Wedding facial hair

Photo via Instagram / @kensingtonroyal

According to the official Kensington Palace Instagram page, the service will begin at noon, followed by a carriage procession through Windsor Town at 1 pm and a large reception at St. George's Hall. This inclusion is to involve the public in their ceremony.

A more intimate reception will be held in the evening by Prince Charles of Wales.

If you aren't a lucky invited guest or resident of Windsor, you can watch the televised coverage from BBC starting at 9 am.

How does military tradition apply to Prince Harry's beard?

Zeus Beard debates Royal Wedding facial hair

Photo via Instagram / @kensingtonroyal

For the past 10 years, Prince Harry has been a member of the British Army's Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals. Typically, members accept the honor of wearing their dress uniforms when they get married. However, this brings Harry to the difficult decision between receiving military recognition at his nuptials and parting with his beard.

To further explain, British tradition follows that, when in military dress uniform, you maintain a clean-shaven face. The British military only permits beards for exceptional circumstances, like severe skin issues and religious reasons.

To the queen's dismay, Prince Harry rocked his beard at events like the Sandhurst parade (pictured above) in the past. However, he chose to dress down in a suit instead of taking on his full military garb. While some royal insiders believe that Prince Harry will once again defy his grandmother's protocols, her well-known previous displeasure towards the issue will make it more difficult.

Prince Harry's only saving grace may be that because he is no longer actively serving, the military could give him a pass on his beard for the ceremony.

When did he start growing out his beard?

Zeus Beard debates Royal Wedding facial hair

Photo via Instagram / @kensingtonroyal

Prince Harry first donned his beard at the end of 2013 after returning home from the Walking With the Wounded trek in Antartica. At the time, Harry joked that he was carrying on the tradition of his older brother William, who returned home from the Royal Navy in 2008 with some serious stubble.

As the Washington Post points out, their father Prince Charles of Wales, also wore a beard back in the day. However, both Charles and William chose a clean-shaven look for their wedding days.

The other interesting aspect of when Prince Harry first grew his beard is that it predates his relationship with Meghan Markle. The pair first became a couple around Halloween in 2016 and announced their engagement November 27, 2017.

While his beautiful bride is sure to have seen pictures of her soon-to-be husband before 2013, she may be shocked to see how his bare face looks in person. Like everyone else eagerly awaiting their wedding day, we can't help but wonder whose influence will be stronger when it comes to Harry's hair, his new wife or his grandmother, the Queen of England.

But wait, Meghan may have bigger issues to worry about on their big day...

Zeus Beard debates Royal Wedding facial hair

Photo via Instagram / @glblctzn

Despite Meghan having Harry's beard to worry about, his facial hair issue is relatively small on her plate of responsibilities.

Putting a damper on her special day, Meghan's father, Thomas, will no longer attend the Royal Wedding, according to People. This also means the couple won't participate in the tradition of the bride's father walking her down the aisle.

The decision comes after multiple controversies surrounding her father. In the past week, he suffered a heart attack. At the same time, he was berated by the media for staging paparazzi photos. Meghan's half-sister Samantha Markle defended their father by stating the photos were not money-motivated and had innocent intentions.

In an official statement Kensington Palace said, Meghan is in the midst of a "deeply personal moment."

What's our final take?


Prince Harry has never been one to let anyone, including the Queen of England and British traditions dictate his actions. From his former bad boy party reputation to his choice of bucking Buckingham Palace's customs by courting a half-black woman, Prince Harry likes to set his own rules.

We respect his gumption and can't help but root for his beard to make an appearance at the Royal Wedding.

To read more beard-related news coverage, read: "Top 7 Stagecoach Festival Beards That Wowed the Crowd"

For more tips and tricks, read: "Best Foods for Hair Growth: Get Your Daily Dose of Vitamins and Minerals"

Zeus Beard debates Royal Wedding beard choices