Prince Harry expressed “great sadness” Sunday evening in his first public statement since Buckingham Palace announced he and his wife, Meghan, would give up their royal titles and would not represent the Queen as working members of the royal family.
He didn’t want to give up his royal role, he said.
In a speech to the Sentebale charity, a clearly upset Harry said the final outcome was not what he had wanted.
“The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly,” Harry said in a speech at a charity event in London. “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.”
“Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding,” he said. “Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible.”
Earlier this month, the couple announced they would step back from their roles as senior members of the royal family, split their time between the United Kingdom and North America and work toward becoming financially independent.
Under the agreement announced Saturday, Harry and Meghan will also pay back 2.4 million pounds (about $3 million) of British taxpayers’ money used to renovate their home, Frogmore Cottage.
“I’ve accepted this, knowing that it doesn’t change who I am or how committed I am,” Harry said of his family’s future on Sunday. “But I hope that 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.”
“I was born into this life,” he said, “and it is a great honor to serve my country and the Queen.”
“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,” Harry said.
“The UK is my home and a place that I love. That will never change.”
He added: “It brings me great sadness that it has come to this.”
Hopefully, they have some money saved. This might not end well. Harry said, during an October interview, that he needs constant management, meaning for his emotional issues.
Prince Harry: The decision I have made for my wife and I😭😭😭pic.twitter.com/16uIZpuBFi
— TV Fanatic👑⚜️ (@Khaleesi_Hodan) January 19, 2020
Statement from HM The Queen.
Following many months of conversations and more recent discussions, I am pleased that together we have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family.
Harry, Meghan, and Archie will always be much-loved members of my family.
I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life.
I want to thank them for all their dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond, and am particularly proud of how Meghan has so quickly become one of the family.
It is my whole family’s hope that today’s agreement allows them to start building a happy and peaceful new life.
Statement from Buckingham Palace
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their ongoing support as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.
As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments. They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties.
With The Queen’s blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations. While they can no longer formally represent The Queen, the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty.
The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home.
Buckingham Palace does not comment on the details of security arrangements. There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security.
This new model will take effect in the Spring of 2020.