Prince Harry Speaks Out for the First Time About His and Meghan's Decision to Step Down as Royals
"There was no other option."
Prince Harry just broke his silence on his and wife Meghan Markle's exit from the royal family.
At the Sentebale charity event on Sunday night — the duke's first public appearance since an agreement was reached between the couple and Queen Elizabeth — Harry delivered a heartfelt speech about their decision.
“Before I begin, I must say that I can only imagine what you may have heard or perhaps read over the last few weeks. 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 last 35 years – but with a clearer perspective,” he began, before delving into the reasoning behind his and Meghan's choice, which brings him "great sadness."
“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,” he said. "And I know I haven’t always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option."
Touching on his new role in the monarch, Harry added, "What I want to make clear is we’re not walking away, and we certainly aren’t walking away from you. Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible."
He continued: "I’ve accepted this, knowing that it doesn’t change who I am or how committed I am. But I hope that helps you understand what it had to 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."
Harry went on to say that he's thankful to have his family back him, especially the Queen. “I will always have the utmost respect for my grandmother, my commander in chief, and I am incredibly grateful to her and the rest of my family, for the support they have shown Meghan and I over the last few months."
Despite no longer being a royal, Harry reassured his fans that he won't stop advocating for the causes near and dear to his heart. "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," he said. "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 have ever imagined."
"We are taking a leap of faith – thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step.”