Prince Harry Criticized for Wearing Four Medals at US Servicewoman Tribute

Prince Harry faces scrutiny during virtual award presentation.

by Nouman Rasool
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Prince Harry Criticized for Wearing Four Medals at US Servicewoman Tribute
© Andy Stenning - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Prince Harry's recent appearance via Zoom, where he presented the "Soldier of the Year" award while adorned with four medals, has sparked controversy and detracted from the honor intended for US combat medic, Sergeant First Class Elizabeth Marks.

Broadcasting from his home in Montecito, the Duke of Sussex, a veteran of the UK armed forces, found himself at the center of criticism rather than celebration. Critics argue that the move by the prince to showcase the medals was one of those unnecessary shows meant to impress the American audience and, in doing so, overshadow the accomplishments of Sergeant Marks.

The medals include an Afghanistan campaign medal, an award for his service in the area, and three others by Queen Elizabeth II, namely, the Golden Jubilee, Diamond Jubilee, and Platinum Jubilee medals.

Social Media Backlash

Social media and various comment sections quickly filled with mixed reactions.

Some voiced their displeasure bluntly, with one commenter branding the act as "pathetic" and indicative of a desperate plea for attention. They suggested that Prince Harry should seek better advice on public perception, especially during solemn occasions.

Some were also defending Harry's right to wear his medals; in particular, the Afghanistan campaign medal because of two tours in the country in 2007-2008 and again in 2012. The supporters argue these were properly won honors and he should be able to wear them with pride.

Adding another layer to the controversy, royal watchers noted Prince Harry's omission of a recent Coronation medal from King Charles, which some interpret as a subtle rebuff to the royal family. Royal commentator Richard FitzWilliams elaborated on this, suggesting that the Sussexes' actions are often deliberate and symbolize their ongoing estrangement from the royal establishment.

This incident raises questions about the balance of personal achievements with royal duties, especially when the stage is shared with those serving in the military. As debates continue online and in the media, the focus remains split between Prince Harry’s choices and the commendable service of Sergeant Marks, reminding us of the delicate interplay between royal tradition and individual acknowledgment in public engagements.

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