'The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly.'
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made news this month as they announced that they were planning on stepping down from their roles as ‘senior’ members of the royal family, hoping to become financially independent.
It was then announced over the weekend by Buckingham Palace that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will be losing their HRH titles following a new deal, and repaying ’Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage’.
Releasing an official statement, Buckingham Palace announced: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are grateful to Her Majesty and the Royal Family for their ongoing support as they embark on the next chapter of their lives.’
It was a surprise explanation on the subject from Prince Harry however that made the most news, as the Duke of Sussex explained his reason behind the decision to assembled guests at a London dinner for his charity, Sentebale.
‘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,’ he explained. ‘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.’
He 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.
‘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 more peaceful life. I was born into this life, and it is a great honour to serve my country and the Queen.’
Going on to reflect on his childhood, he continued: ‘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.
‘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 then spoke about his grandmother, the Queen, stating: ‘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.’
Well, that’s that.