Prince Harry broke his silence Sunday on Megxit, saying he had “no other option” but to step back from his royal duties, according to a report.
“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,” the 35-year-old prince said at a charity event in London.
“And I know I haven’t always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option,” said Harry, addressing for the first time his and wife Meghan Markle‘s plans to split from the royal family and move to North America, during the event for his Sentebale charity at the Ivy Chelsea Club, the Mirror reported.
Despite announcing plans to live part-time in North America, Harry professed his love for his country, saying: “The UK is my home and a place that I love. That will never change.”
He and Markle, 38, “both do everything we can to fly the flag and carry out our roles for this country with pride,” the prince insisted.
“Once Meghan and I were married, we were excited, we were hopeful, and we were here to serve,” Harry said. “For those reasons, it brings me great sadness that it has come to this.
“What I want to make clear is we’re not walking away, and we certainly aren’t walking away from you,” he added.
Under a Megxit deal announced by Queen Elizabeth II on Saturday, the couple will “step back from Royal duties” and will no longer receive taxpayer cash.
The Duke of Sussex said he’d hoped to “continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations,” but that without public funding, “unfortunately, that was not possible.”
Harry said he hoped the plan would help him have a more “peaceful” life.
“I have grown up feeling support from so many of you, and I watched as you welcomed Meghan with open arms as you saw me find the love and happiness that I had hoped for all my life,” Harry told the crowd.
“Finally, the second son of Diana got hitched, hurray!
“When I lost my mum 23 years ago, you took me under your wing,” he continued.
“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.”