Prince Harry breaks his silence on royal family exit with emotional speech, telling people: 'I want you to hear the truth from me'

19 January 2020, 22:59 | Updated: 20 January 2020, 09:32

Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

Prince Harry has spoken out after the Queen announced the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's future in the royal family.

Prince Harry attended a dinner party on Sunday evening hosted by The Caring Foundation, which was held to raise funds for Sentebale, a charity that supports young people affected by HIV in southern Africa.

During the evening, the Duke of Sussex made a speech in which he talked about the charity, as well as his and Meghan Markle's decision to step down from royal duties.

READ MORE: Where is Meghan Markle living in Canada and where will she and Prince Harry move to?

During the speech, Harry, who married Meghan in May 2018, said that he wanted the guests to "hear the truth" from him, "not as a Prince, or a Duke, but as Harry".

Prince Harry was seen arriving at the dinner party on Sunday evening hosted by The Caring Foundation
Prince Harry was seen arriving at the dinner party on Sunday evening hosted by The Caring Foundation. Picture: GETTY

Harry, who is father of eight month old Archie, also told the guests that Meghan is the "same woman" he fell in love with, and that she "upholds the same values" he does.

The full speech reads:

"Before I begin, I must say that I can only imagine what you may have heard or perhaps read over the last few weeks...

So, I want you to hear the truth from me, as much as I can share – not as a Prince, or a Duke, but as Harry, the same person that many of you have watched grow up over the last 35 years – but with a clearer perspective.

The UK is my home and a place that I love. That will never change.

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. Finally, the second son of Diana got hitched, hurray!

I also know you've come to know me well enough over all these years to trust that the woman I chose as my wife upholds the same values I do. And she does, and she's the same woman I fell in love with.

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.

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.

What I want to make clear is we're not walking away, and we certainly aren't walking away from you. Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn't possible.

I've accepted this, knowing that it doesn't change who I am or how committed I am. But I hope that 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.

I was born into this life, and it is a great honour 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.

It has also been a privilege to meet so many of you, and to feel your excitement for our son Archie, who saw snow for the first time the other day and thought it was bloody brilliant!

I will always have the utmost respect for my grandmother, my commander in chief, and I am incredibly grateful to her and the rest of my family, for the support they have shown Meghan and I over the last few months.

Prince Harry said Meghan is still the woman he fell in love with
Prince Harry said Meghan is still the woman he fell in love with. Picture: PA

I will continued to be the same man who holds his country dear and dedicates his life to supporting the causes, charities and military communities that are so important to me.

Together, you have given me an education about living. And this role has taught me more about what is right and just than I could have ever imagines. We are taking a leap of faith – thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step."

Prince Harry also revealed that baby Archie has seen his first snow
Prince Harry also revealed that baby Archie has seen his first snow. Picture: PA

This announcement comes a few days after the Queen confirmed the plans for the royal couple.

In her statement, the Queen said she was "proud" of Meghan, and that she was supportive of her grandson and his wife's decision.

Her Majesty revealed that Meghan and Harry will not be using their HRH titles from now on, and want to repay the money that was used to refurbish their UK home, Frogmore Cottage.

The pair will now be splitting their time between the UK and North America, where Meghan currently is with baby Archie.

READ MORE: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle lose royal titles as the Queen confirms couple's future in statement