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'Sad' Prince Harry says no other option but to end royal role

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on January 20, 2020 - Duration: 01:59s

'Sad' Prince Harry says no other option but to end royal role

Britain's Prince Harry spoke on Sunday of his sadness at being forced to give up his royal duties in a deal with Queen Elizabeth and senior Windsors that will see him and his wife Meghan exit official roles to seek an independent future.

Francesca Lynagh reports.

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'Sad' Prince Harry says no other option but to end royal role

Over the weekend Buckingham Palace announced that Harry and Meghan will no longer be working members of Britain's monarchy.

They'll drop their "Royal Highness" titles.

And stop receiving public funds for royal duties.

But according to an emotional Harry, speaking at a charity event on Sunday (January 19), it's not quite the arrangement the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wanted.

Harry, who will remain a prince, said the couple had hoped to continue serving the queen, the Commonwealth and military associations without public funding... and expressed disappoint that that wasn't possible.

The sixth in line to the thrown said there was "no other option": and that, quote: ''I hope that helps you understand what it had come to, that I would step back from all I have ever known to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life." He added that it had brought him ''great sadness'' that it had come to this.

"The UK is my home and a place that I love.

That will never change," he said.

Harry and Meghan, who have both struggled with immense media attention, will now begin a new life split between Britain and North America where they will spend the majority of their time.

But they will not take part in any future ceremonial events or royal tours.

The couple's plans for independence caught the rest of the royal family by surprise earlier this month... and left the queen and other senior members hurt and disappointed, according to royal sources.

Royal commentators said their transition amounted to an "abdication" from the "firm".

Buckingham Palace have said the couple would repay the cost of refurbishing their cottage in Windsor, which official figures show amounted to 2.4 million pounds ($3.1 million).

But certain details, such as their future security arrangements or whether the couple could continue to use the "Sussex Royal" title for their website and branding, have either not been finalized or publicly revealed.

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