A day after it was announced that he is officially losing his HRH title, Prince Harry broke his silence over Megxit during a moving speech on Sunday night. Speaking to the crowd attending a dinner for the Sentebale charity he founded, Harry opened up about his and wife Meghan Markle’s historic decision — and why there was “no other option” when it came to his future in the royal family. But the duke was also adamant that, while his title is changing, he is still the same person at his core.
“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 many of you have watched grow up over the last 35 years — now with a clearer perspective. The U.K. is my home and a place I love. That will never change,” Harry began his speech before segueing to a more serious note on the subject of Meghan.
“We both do everything we can to fly the flag and carry our roles for this country with pride,” he said, insisting that she upholds the same values he represents. “Once Meghan and I were married, we were excited. We were hopeful. And we were here to serve. For those reasons, it brings me great sadness it has come to this.”
So, said Harry, the decision to step back from their role as senior royals was not one made lightly. “It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges. And I know I haven’t always done it right but, as far as this goes, there really was no other option,” he said. “What I want to make clear is we’re not walking away, and we certainly aren’t walking away from you.”
According to Harry, the outcome announced over the weekend (that Harry and Meghan will lose their official titles) wasn’t what he and Meghan were striving for. “Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth, and my military associations but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible. 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 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 explained.
A statement from Her Majesty The Queen.https://t.co/ZAPC5ARUup
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) January 18, 2020
A large part of that reason for leaving is the British media, which Harry called a “powerful force.” Still, he said, the Sussexes’ exit and Queen Elizabeth II’s announcement ultimately won’t deter Harry and Meghan from what they consider to be their greater purpose. “It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service,” he shared, adding, “So, in that respect, nothing changes.”
Harry finished his speech by reiterating how he has “the utmost respect” for his grandmother and how “incredibly grateful” he is to her and the rest of the royal family for supporting him and Meghan in this groundbreaking shift. Before moving on to official Sentebale business, the Duke of Sussex expressed his appreciation to his supporters, saying with clear emotion, “We are taking a leap of faith, so thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step.”