Harry and Meghan: No other option but to step back, says duke

Brenda Watkins
January 20, 2020

Under the arrangement, Harry will remain a prince and the couple will keep their titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they begin a new life split between Britain and North America where they will spend the majority of their time.

This new arrangement for Harry and Meghan (and little Archie) will undoubtedly be hard for some members of the royal family at first, but as Harry proved by getting on with his official duties, things will eventually get back to "normal" in the end.

"For those reasons, it brings me great sadness that it has come to this", Harry said at a fund-raising event here for Sentebale, a charity which he co-founded to help children living with HIV in Africa. He opened his speech noting that many in the audience had watched him grow up and said he wanted them "to hear the truth from me, as much as I can share, not as a prince, or a duke, but as Harry".

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

"As far as this goes, there really was no other option", he added.

The latest revelations over the agonising about Harry's future came ahead of a Buckingham Palace reception this evening for African leaders and business tycoons being attended by him and his brother William.

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The government had originally wanted to repatriate just the sick child, she said, but could not separate him from his mother.

Harry seemed to confirm that in his speech, saying: "Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding".

Thomas Markle, who has been estranged from his actress daughter, made the extraordinary public attack on her and Prince Harry in an interview with Channel 5, excerpts of which were released Sunday, a day after the pair finalized plans to break away from the royal family. A source told HELLO! at the time: "Harry couldn't wait to introduce Meghan to Tiggy".

The meetings came following a rather tumultuous weekend in terms of royal news, during which Harry spoke up about his "sadness" when it comes to stepping back from his royal roles. "Sadly that wasn't possible", the prince, the sixth in line to the throne, said.

"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 palace said. "That will never change", he continued. "I've accepted this, knowing that it doesn't change who I am or how committed I am", he said.

At the event at The Ivy in Chelsea last night, Harry also paid a stirring tribute to his grandmother, calling her his "commander-in-chief", and his family for their support. "We are taking a leap of faith - thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step". "I was sure that the royal family, which has been around a very long time, will find a way forward", Johnson told Sky News. It comes amid a growing row about who will pay their annual security bill as they split their time between the United Kingdom and Canada, where it has been estimated the measures required could be similar to those of the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Under the agreement announced Saturday, Harry and Meghan will also pay back 2.4 million pounds (about $3 million) of British taxpayers' money used to renovate their home, Frogmore Cottage, on the Windsor estate.

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