Prince Harry delivered his first speech since he and Meghan Markle announced the details of their plans to step away from the royal family on Sunday. In the emotional speech, Harry said there was "no other option" following the near non-stop media attention their relationship attracted. The speech received a divided response from fans of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
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Harry spoke to supporters of Sentebale in London Sunday. During his speech, the 35-year-old explained the decision-making process behind their historic announcement last week.
"The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly," Harry explained. "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," Harry continued. "Unfortunately, that wasn't possible. 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."
Late last week, Queen Elizabeth II revealed the two sides "found a constructive and supportive way forward for my grandson and his family." In their own statement, Harry and Markle said they would no longer use their HRH titles as they plan to live in Canada.
This speech , this prince, this amazing man , amazing husband and father 😭😰! I am more than proud of him! #PrinceHarry— Prince Harry & Princess Meghan 💓 (@faith_first1) January 19, 2020
I have so much love and respect for Diana's second son
Markle and Harry will also no longer receive public funding, and they promised to repay the government for the refurbishments at Frogmore Cottage. The changes will not go into effect until this spring.
While Markle and their son Archie are already in Canada, Harry is spending this week in the U.K. for meetings. Before he gave his speech Sunday night, Harry gushed about Archie seeing snow for the first time.
What he is saying is we don’t want to raise money for the Family when we can raise money for ourselves— Upton Bell (@uptonbell) January 19, 2020
"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!" Harry said, reports PEOPLE.
The response to Harry's latest speech has been divisive.
"Institution of the monarchy must be updated to fit the time we live in or it will destroys the lives of the royal family," one Twitter user wrote. "For one, Charles should have on insisted to marry the woman of his choice. Look how Diana suffered with the other woman. Harry's got the right idea."
"If she didn't want to be a princess she shouldn't have married a prince," another wrote, criticizing Markle.
Sometimes you have to ghost on those who are making your life miserable, especially when your spouse & child are being attacked. I applaud Harry for making this decision to stop the abuse of Meghan. His family didn't help his mother, but he made the decision to protect his wife.— Sydney Chandler (@syds180turn) January 19, 2020
"I do hope the press will just leave them alone," one wrote. "Let them start whatever life they are trying to have. Just let them be!!!"
Photo credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Sentebale