Prince Harry: "Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately that wasn't possible."
Prince Harry has for the first time spoken about the decision by his wife Meghan Markle and himself to step down as senior royals and spend half their year overseas.
“Before I begin, I must say I can only imagine what you may have heard and perhaps read over the past few weeks,” said Prince Harry, who has been stripped of the title HRH (His Royal Highness)
“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 who many of you have watched grow up over the last 35 years but now with a clearer perspective.
“The UK 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 me find the love and happiness that I had hoped for all my life.
“Finally, the second son of Diana got hitched. Hurray.”
BREAKING: Prince Harry: "There was no other option."
Prince Harry has revealed he and Meghan felt they had no other option but to leave the Royal Family behind during a speech for his Sentebale charity.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) January 19, 2020
Prince Harry, whose wife Meghan Markle is on Vancouver Island in Canada with their son Archie, continued: “I also know that you’ve come to know me well enough over these years to trust that the woman I chose as my wife upholds the same values as I do, and she does, and she’s the same woman I fell in love with.
“We both do everything we can to fly the flag and carry out our roles for this country with pride.”
Prince Harry said that when he and Meghan were married “we were excited, we were hopeful, and we were here to serve”.
But he said it was with “great sadness” that they had decided to step back, but there was “no other option”.
“The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly,” he said.
“It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges and I know I haven’t always got it right, but as far as this goes there really was no other option.”
Prince Harry said he wanted to make it clear that he and Meghan were “not walking away”.
“Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth and my military associations, but without public funding.
“Unfortunately that wasn’t possible.”
The Duchess waiting outside Victoria International Airport for a friend in a Land Rover Discovery yesterday afternoon. 💕 pic.twitter.com/xicZwY7Qln
— The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@PHarry_Meghan) January 17, 2020
The Duke of Sussex continued: “It has also been a privilege to meet so many of you and to feel your excitement for our son Archie, who saw snow for the first time the other day and thought it was bloody brilliant.
“I will always have the utmost respect for my grandmother, my commander in chief. 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.
“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 ever could have imagined.
“We are taking a leap of faith, so thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step.”
The Queen announced on Saturday (local time) that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle “can no longer formally represent The Queen” and are not allowed to use the title HRH any longer. They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties.
A statement from Her Majesty The Queen.https://t.co/ZAPC5ARUup
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) January 18, 2020
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have also stated their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home.
In exchange for forgoing public funding, the couple have total control over their own commercial ventures. This will give them a lot more freedom to explore new business ideas without having to seek approval from Buckingham Palace.
The question remains how will Prince Harry and Meghan Markle raise enough money to live comfortably for the rest of their lives.
They have registered trademarks in the UK for “Sussex Royal” and “Sussex Royal The Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex”.
The Dukes emotional speech at tonight’s charity event in full: 💕 pic.twitter.com/4NCfuEiop5
— The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@PHarry_Meghan) January 19, 2020
It is highly likely they will be able to make millions off their names in the next two years but will they be able to keep it going? Only time will tell.