Prince Harry Speaks about His & Meghan's Decision to Step Back from Life as Senior Royals in 1st Speech since Exit News
Prince Harry made his first public appearance following his Royal Exit, addressing a crowd of reporters about what transpired in his meeting with Queen Elizabeth.
It sent shockwaves around the world when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced on January 8 that they would be stepping down from their senior royal duties.
Now, two weeks later, Harry attended an event focused on supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children affected by the HIV virus.
He stepped back from what he's known all his life in hopes of a more peaceful life.
HARRY ADDRESSES THE CROWD
During the event, Harry began his speech by saying that he would like to speak to them, not as a Prince or a Duke, but as the "Harry" they've watched grow up through the years.
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“Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and thanking you for your continued support! We’ve loved meeting so many of you from around the world and can’t wait to meet many more of you next year. We hope 2020 brings each of you health and continued happiness.” - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Special thanks to Chris Martin and @Coldplay for allowing us to use one of their songs Photo and video © SussexRoyal Thanks to PA for additional images and footage
He thanked his supporters for the support that he and Meghan have received throughout their marriage, and assured them that in all the years they've watched him grow, they should trust him enough to know that he chose a wife that upholds the same values as he did.
"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."
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Today we look back to Christmas 2018, and The Duchess of Sussex's visit to Brinsworth House, a residential and nursing care home in Twickenham, owned and run by the Royal Variety Charity. Each year, the UK’s much beloved Royal Variety performance is held in aid of the Royal Variety Charity of which Her Majesty The Queen is Patron. Funds raised from the show and throughout the year, help entertainers from around the UK who need support and assistance as a result of old age, ill-health, or hard times. At Brinsworth House, The Duchess joined residents singing carols and making Christmas decorations, as she unveiled a traditional 'Royal plaque' which is proudly displayed on the entrance hall wall, not far from one marking the 1976 visit of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. Last Christmas, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex attended their first joint Royal Variety performance at the iconic London Palladium. Since HRH’s visit, the Royal Variety Charity has completely refurbished Brinsworth House’s kitchen and dining room, enabling residents to feel even more at home, in their new home. #RoyalVarietyPerformance @royalvarietyperformance Photo © PA
FACING DIFFICULTIES WITH THE MEDIA
Although they were excited to serve the country, Prince Harry acknowledged that they had to face many difficulties and he decided to make a decision for him and Meghan to live with.
“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. And I know I haven’t always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option."
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“After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen. It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity. We look forward to sharing the full details of this exciting next step in due course, as we continue to collaborate with Her Majesty The Queen, The Prince of Wales, The Duke of Cambridge and all relevant parties. Until then, please accept our deepest thanks for your continued support.” - The Duke and Duchess of Sussex For more information, please visit sussexroyal.com (link in bio) Image © PA
CONTINUING TO SERVE THE COUNTRY
In the end, he revealed that their original intent was to serve the Queen and the commonwealth without public funding, he was told it wasn't possible. In the end, he accepted this and assured them that it doesn't change his commitment to the country. After all, he stepped back from what he's known all his life in hopes of a more peaceful life.
"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. It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service.”
While Harry remained in the UK to discuss his stepping down with the rest of the family, Meghan was in Canada to be with their 8-month-old child Archie.