Prince Harry sets the record straight after he and Meghan Markle announced they were stepping back as members of the royal family.
While giving a speech at a dinner for supporters of the charity Sentebale in London, the Duke of Sussex clarified his and his wife’s new journey of splitting their time between U.K. and North America, and becoming financially independent.
Though they hoped “to continue serving the queen” without public funding, they realized “that wasn’t possible.” However, Harry and Meghan are “not walking away, and we certainly aren’t walking away from you.”
“I’ve accepted this knowing it doesn’t change who I am or how committed I am, but I hope it 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,” he told the audience.
Though he will spend less time in the country, the 35-year-old still considers the U.K. his “home and a place that I love.”
“That will never change. I have grown up feeling supported by so many of you, and I watched as you welcomed Meghan with open arms as you saw the love and happiness that I had hoped for all my life,” he exclaimed.
On Saturday, Queen Elizabeth II released a statement saying, “We have found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family.”
“Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,” she continued. “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.”
Buckingham Palace also issued a message stating Harry and Meghan can no longer use their “His/Her Royal Highness” titles and will repay the money used to refurbish their Frogmore home.
“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. As agreed in this new arrangement, they understand that they are required to step back from Royal duties, including official military appointments. They will no longer receive public funds for Royal duties,” it read. “With The Queen’s blessing, the Sussexes will continue to maintain their private patronages and associations. While they can no longer formally represent The Queen, the Sussexes have made clear that everything they do will continue to uphold the values of Her Majesty."
“The Sussexes will not use their HRH titles as they are no longer working members of the Royal Family,” it continued. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared their wish to repay Sovereign Grant expenditure for the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage, which will remain their UK family home. Buckingham Palace does not comment on the details of security arrangements. There are well established independent processes to determine the need for publicly-funded security. This new model will take effect in the Spring of 2020.”
After spring 2020, the two will be known as Harry, the Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.