Prince Harry says he and Meghan, his wife, felt they had “no other option” but to step down from their royal family duties.
The duke of Sussex spoke on Sunday evening, while delivering his first public speech — since they stepped back from being senior royals — at a private reception for the charity Sentebale, in London, where he is patron.
Buckingham Palace had on Saturday announced that Harry and his wife would give up their royal titles and would not represent the Queen as working members of the royal family.
The Queen had described the move as “a constructive and supportive way forward to support” him and his family.
In the speech, Harry said the final outcome contradicts his family’s earlier motive of “stepping back” from royal duties, adding that “it brings me great sadness that it has come to this.”
According to him, he and his wife earlier considered serving the interest of the British royal duties even after quitting, noting it was unfortunate things did not go according to plan.
“Our hope was to continue serving the queen, the Commonwealth and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible,” he said.
“For those reasons, it brings me great sadness that it has come to this. 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 got it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option.”
Harry also blamed their withdrawal from royal duties on media’s constant clampdown since Princess Diana, his late mother, died in an accident years ago.
“When I lost my mum 23 years ago, you took me under your wing,” he said.
“You looked out for 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.”
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