Great Britain

Prince Harry breaks silence claiming he had 'no other option' but to step back as royal

Prince Harry delivered a speech on Sunday evening at a charity event in which he outlined why he and his wife, Meghan Markle, had decided to step back as senior members of the Royal Family. On Saturday evening Buckingham Palace released a statement explaining the new roles that have been carved out for Harry and Meghan as the pair step back from senior duties.

Attending an event in the capital on Sunday evening, the Duke of Sussex delivered a speech in which he outlined why he would be stepping back the Royal Family.

Prince Harry said he had "no other option" but to step back from the family.

During his speech, Prince Harry admitted that he and Meghan were disappointed they can no longer represent the Queen but explained that they could not carry on as senior royals.

In a heartfelt speech to supporters of his Sentebale African AIDS charity, the Duke of Sussex explained their choice to walk away and some of his sadness.

It was his first speech since he and Meghan agreed to stand down under the terms of an historic deal with the Queen.

He told the audience at a London restaurant: “Before I begin, I must say that I can only imagine what you may have heard or perhaps read over the last few weeks.

“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 that many of you have watched grow up over the last 35 years – but with a clearer perspective.

“The UK is my home and a place that I love. That will never change.

“I have grown up feeling support from 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!

“I also know you’ve come to know me well enough over all 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.”

He added: “We both do everything we can to fly the flag and carry out our roles for this country with pride. 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.

“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 to 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.”

Additional reporting by Richard Palmer, Daily Express Royal Correspondent

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