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The Sussexes

Prince Harry speaks out about his decision to step back from Royal Family

Prince Harry has spoken out about his and wife, Meghan’s decision to step back from the Royal Family following Buckingham Palace’s announcement over the weekend that a deal had been made between the Sussexes and Royal Family.

Harry was at an event for his patronage, Sentebale, in London when he opened up about the decision in a speech to those in attendance, revealing he was disappointed in the outcome.

The Duke of Sussex said he and the Duchess “had no other option” but to leave even though they had hoped to continue to represent Her Majesty.

“Before I begin, I must say that I can only imagine what you may have heard, or perhaps read, over the past few weeks,” Harry began. “So, I want you to hear the truth from me — as much as I can share, not as a prince or a duke, but as Harry, the same person that many of you have watched grow up over the past 35 years, but now with a clearer perspective,” the Duke said.

He stressed, “The U.K. is my home and a place that I love. That will never change. I have grown up feeling supported by so many of you, and I watched as you welcomed Meghan with open arms, as you saw the love and happiness that I had hoped for all my life. Finally, the second son of Diana got hitched, hooray!”

Harry added that Meghan has the same values as him and that they did not make their decision to step back lightly. He said he had “great sadness” that the situation had ended the way it had.

“The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly. It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven’t always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option. What I want to make clear is, we’re not walking away, and we certainly aren’t walking away from you,” the Duke remarked.

Adding that he and Meghan had wanted to continue representing The Queen without public funds, Harry stated, “Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible. I’ve accepted this knowing it doesn’t change who I am or how committed I am, but I hope it helps you understand what it had come to, that I would step my family back from all I have ever known to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life.”

He hinted at the media’s impact on the Sussex decision saying, “You looked after me for so long, but the media is a powerful force. And my hope is one day our collective support for each other can be more powerful because this is so much bigger than just us.”

Wellington, New Zealand. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, meet New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, at Government House in Wellington, New Zealand on day thirteen of their Royal Tour in 2018. Picture by i-Images / Pool

The Duke of Sussex told the crowd, “It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service. So in that respect, nothing changes.

“I will continue to be the same man who holds his country dear and dedicates his life to supporting the causes, charities and military communities that are so important to me. Together, you have given me an education about living, and this role has taught me more about what is right and just than I could ever have imagined. We are taking a leap of faith, so thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step.”

The Prince during the couple’s Pacific tour in 2018. Andrew Parsons/i-Images

Taking effect this spring, Harry and Meghan will no longer use their styles of ‘Royal Highness’, be working members of the Royal Family or get public funding as they will spend the majority of their time in North America.

About author

Brittani is from Tennessee, USA. She is a political scientist and historian after graduating with a degree in the topics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2014. She also holds a master's degree from Northeastern University. She enjoys reading and researching all things regarding the royals of the world. She's been researching, reading, and writing on royalty for over a decade. She became Europe Editor in October 2016, and then Deputy Editor in January 2019, and has been featured on several podcasts, radio shows, news broadcasts and websites including Global News Canada, ABC News Australia, WION India and BBC World News.