On Sunday, January 19, the Duke of Sussex, 35, attended an event organized for the supporters of his Sentebale charity — one which supports the mental health and well-being of children with HIV. Readers know that his mother, the late Princess Diana, was a strong advocate for those affected by HIV and AIDS.
At the event, Harry took the mic to thank the attendees and clear the air regarding his recent decision to step down as a senior royal.
“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,” he said.
Harry — who will now be spending most of his time in Canada and the U.S. with Meghan, 38, and baby Archie — gushed about the U.K. and about his family.
“The U.K. 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!” he said.
He also defended Meghan — whom many have labeled “Diva Duchess” — assuring that the two are on the same page regarding their exit from the monarchy and their life as a married couple.
“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. 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,” Harry continued.
“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,” he said. “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.”
In his speech, the father of one took full responsibility for his and Meghan’s decision to step away from the royal family — despite haters assuming it was Meghan who pressured him to do so. He also suggested that it was the negative media attention what ultimately led the pair to say goodbye to their royal titles.
“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,” he said.
As RadarOnline.com readers know, Harry is still a prince, and he and Meghan are still the Duke and Duchess of Sussex; however, they will no longer be referred to as His and Her Royal Highness.
“I was born into this life, and it is a great honor to serve my country and the queen. When I lost my mum 23 years ago, you took me under your wing. You’ve looked out for me for so long, but the media is a powerful force, and my hope is one day our collective support for each other can be more powerful because this is so much bigger than just us,” he said in his speech. “It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service.”
Harry and Meghan will now work to become financially independent in their new home outside of the U.K. and will rarely perform royal duties.
“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. 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,” Harry concluded.
The audience clapped and cheered at the prince’s powerful speech.
Radar readers know Harry’s comments came after Queen Elizabeth II herself made an announcement regarding the Sussexes’ exit. In it, she said Harry and Meghan will be renouncing their titles, but “will always be much loved members of my family.”