Prince Harry has broken his silence after opting to step into the British royal family’s shadows, revealing he feels “a great sadness”.
The Duke of Sussex was speaking at a private fundraising dinner in Chelsea, London, on Sunday evening as he explained he and his wife, Meghan, felt they had “no other option” other to make the drastic changes and walk away from their royal titles.
“What I want to make clear is we’re not walking away and we certainly aren’t walking away from you,” he shared in an emotional speech lasting almost eight minutes. “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 peaceful life.”
He also made an emotional tribute to his grandmother, The Queen, describing her as his “Commander-in-Chief” and detailing that the couple remains “incredibly grateful” for the royal family’s support. He described his own family’s journey as a “huge leap of faith”, adding, “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.”
Harry also shared his son Archie, who is in Canada with his mother, has seen his first ever snow in the country, and “thought it was bloody brilliant”.
Queen Elizabeth II announced the details of the official agreement regarding the future of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex on Saturday, revealing the couple will no longer formally represent the monarch once the new arrangements take effect in the “spring of 2020”.
As part of the deal, the pair will no longer use the “royal highness” title, and will instead be known as Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.
The couple also plans to pay back the $3.12 million (£2.4 million) of taxpayer funds used to recently refurbish their Frogmore Cottage property, which they will continue to use as their U.K. base.