Prince Harry Expresses 'Great Sadness' in First Statement Since Queen's Decision

January 19, 2020
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Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, spoke out for the first time following an announcement from Buckingham Palace which declared that he and his wife Meghan Markle are no longer working members of the royal family.

In a speech made at a charity dinner in London, the Duke of Sussex expressed "great sadness" at the Saturday decision, which was released to the public in tandem with a statement from Queen Elizabeth.

The full seven-minute speech was posted to the Sussex Royal Instagram page.

"The UK is my home and a place that I love," the prince remarked. "That will never change."

"The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly," he said. "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."

"Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding," he continued. "Unfortunately, that wasn't possible."

On Saturday, Buckingham Palace announced that Harry and Meghan Markle would be stripped of their royal titles moving forward.

"The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family," the statement from the Royal Palace read.

On the same day, the Queen released a statement of her own commenting on the decision made regarding the Sussex couple's future plans.

“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family," her statement read. "I recognise the challenges they have experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life."

Earlier this month, the royal couple announced their decision to take a step back from their royal duties in order to focus on their family and transition into a “progressive new role” within the institution.

The Queen previously shared a statement following Monday’s discussion in which she said she is "entirely supportive," although she "would have preferred them to remain full-time working members of the Royal family."

“Harry and Meghan have made clear that they do not want to be reliant on public funds in their new lives. It has therefore been agreed that there will be a period of transition in which the Sussexes will spend time in Canada and the UK. These are complex matters for my family to resolve, and there is some more work to be done, but I have asked for final decisions to be reached in the coming days,” the previous statement offered.

Markle has yet made a public announcement, but she has been spotted by the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre in Vancouver, Canada last week to continue her philanthropic efforts.

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