Prince Harry clears the air about departure from Royal Family in first public speech

goss 20/01/2020

Prince Harry has spoken out in a raw and revealing speech about the reasons he and Meghan Markle are stepping back as members of the royal family. 

"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 watched grow up, but now with a clearer perspective," he said at a dinner for the Sentebale charity in London. 

Footage of the bombshell speech was shared to the official Sussex Royal Instagram account. 

"Once Meghan and I were married, we were excited, we were hopeful, and we were here to serve," Harry explained. 

"For those reasons it brings me great sadness that it has come to this." 

The Duke of Sussex said he felt he had "no other option" than to take the drastic measure.

"Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth, and my military association, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn't possible," Harry said. 

"I hope that helps you understand what it had come to, that I would step my family back from all that I had ever known, to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life." 

The speech follows a statement from the Queen, which confirmed that Harry and Meghan had been stripped of their 'Royal Highness' titles, and would not be allowed to formally represent the Queen. 

"We're not walking away," Harry continued. "And we're certainly not walking away from you," he said, addressing the public. 

"It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to live a life of service. So in that respect, nothing changes."

The father-of-one made sure to mention his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, whom he said he would "always have the utmost respect for". 

Harry thanked his family for the support they had shown him and Meghan over the last few months. 

"This role has taught me more about what is right and just than I could have ever imagined," he concluded. 

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

After a brief silence, the crowd broke into applause for Harry, before he moved his speech on to focus on the Sentebale charity he helped found in 2006.

Sentebale supports the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana, a mission Harry said was in honour of his mother Princess Diana's legacy.

Source: Newshub