Prince Harry has said it 'brings him great sadness it has come to this' but insisted he and Meghan had "no other option" during an emotional speech on Sunday evening.

The Duke of Sussex was speaking at the Ivy Chelsea Club in London at an event for his charity Sentebale.

It was the first time he spoke publicly about the reasons why he and Meghan decided to move to Canada since they announced their plans to split from the royal family almost two weeks ago.

He said: "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.

Harry said he was sad to leave the UK
Harry said he was sad to leave the UK

"Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding.

"Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible."

Speaking about what was planned after he married Meghan in May 2018, he said: "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."

Harry and Meghan on their wedding day
Harry and Meghan on their wedding day
The Queen photographed today

On Saturday the Queen released a statement saying Harry and Meghan have struck a deal which will see them keep their HRH titles but not use them.

They will also keep Frogmore Cottage , but will pay back a £2.4million Sovereign Grant money used to upgrade the property.

He continued: "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.

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

He added: "It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service.

"It has also been a privilege to meet so many of you, and to feel your excitement for our son Archie, who saw snow for the first time the other day and thought it was bloody brilliant!

Harry and Meghan with their son Archie
Harry and Meghan with their son Archie

"I will always have the utmost respect for my grandmother, my commander in chief, and I am incredibly grateful to her and the rest of my family, for the support they have shown Meghan and I over the last few months.

"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.

Read More

Meghan and Harry 'step back' from royal life

"Together, you have given me an education about living. And this role has taught me more about what is right and just than I could have ever imagined.

"We are taking a leap of faith - thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step."