There’s something different about Queen Elizabeth’s message forcompared to her post for Prince Harry. For Prince William’s 39th journey around the sun, the Queen made sure to share some photos of the Duke of Cambridge in his military regalia on social media—an honor she skipped when it came to Harry’s 36th birthday in September.
Prince William turned 39 on Monday, June 21. His grandmother, the Queen, shared her birthday message for him via the royal family’s official account on Twitter that day, writing, “Wishing The Duke of Cambridge a very Happy Birthday today! #HappyBirthdayHRH.”
The message was followed by four photos of Prince William at various royal engagements throughout the years: In the first photo, the Duke of Cambridge is seen with his wife, Duchess Kate, and their three children—Prince George, 7, Princess Charlotte, 6, and Prince Louis, 3—on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in 2019 during the Queen’s Trooping the Color parade. The second and third photos show William smiling during two events on the Cambriges’ tour to Scotland in 2020.
But it’s the fourth photo that has grabbed the attention of many on social media: The picture, which was taken in 2018 during the Sovereign’s Parade, shows Prince William wearing a military uniform while representing the Queen as a reviewing officer. The Duke of Cambridge holds several honorary military titles, including Canadian Ranger, Colonel of the Irish Guards, and Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Coningsby.
The Queen’s nod at Prince William’s military service poses a stark contrast to the photos shared for his brother, Prince Harry, on his birthday. When Harry turned 36 in September 2020, there was nary a military uniform to be seen in the photos on any of the royal family’s accounts—and it’s easy to see why some may interpret this as another snub. Just months later, theof his honorary military titles after confirming that he and his wife Meghan Markle, 39, would be permanently stepping down from their roles as working members of the royal family following their decision to “ ” from their duties in 2020.
Harry gave up three honorary military titles—Captain-General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington, and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command, according to—along with the opportunity to wear a uniform during official royal engagements. This decision came despite Harry having completed two tours of Afghanistan and his dedicated service to veterans with the foundation of the Invictus Games.