Prince Harry has broken his silence over Megxit and admitted he feels a "great sadness that it has come to this" but it was not possible to find the new life he and his wife Meghan Markle wanted.
The Duke of Sussex made the comments at a formal private dinner at The Ivy restaurant in Chelsea, which was hosted for his vulnerable children's charity Sentebale.
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The 35-year-old said in the emotional speech that the loves the UK but he feels he had “no other option” than to quit his royal duties.
Harry also paid tribute to his grandmother, the Queen, calling her his “commander and chief”. He told the room: “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 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 gotten it right but as far as this goes there really was no other option.”
His comments come after a statement was released last night from the Queen that confirmed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex “not use their HRH titles”, as they look to forge a new life living between North America and Britain.
They will refund the £2.4 million of taxpayers money spent on the refurbishment of their home Frogmore Cottage, and they will pay commercial rent, which is estimated to cost up to £360,000 a year, to retain it as their UK home.
Prince Harry continued: “What I want to make clear is we’re not walking away and we certainly aren’t walking away from you.
“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.”
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Harry and Meghan will cease to work as members of the royal family but he maintained they would continue to lead a life of service despite taking a “huge leap of faith”.
He said: “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 it right and just than I could ever have imagined. We are taking a leap of faith so thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step.”
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