London, Jan 20 (IANS) The UK’s Prince Harry said that he and his wife Meghan Markle had no choice but to stand down from their royal family duties, while insisting that the couple was not “not walking away” but felt “great sadness” over the new arrangement.
He made the remarks while addressing supporters of his Sentebale charity at a dinner here on Sunday night, metro.co.uk reported.
“Before I begin, I must say I can only imagine what you may have heard and perhaps read over the past 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 who many of you have watched grow up over the last 35 years but now with a clearer perspective,” he told the crowd.
“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 got it right, but as far as this goes there really was no other option.’
His emotional comments came as reports emerged that the couple’s deal with the Queen over their future commercial projects will be subject to an annual review.
Their apparent hopes for a “half-in, half-out” role in the monarchy were dashed on Saturday night as Buckingham Palace said they “can no longer formally represent” the Queen after stepping back from public duties.
After 10 days of talks, an agreement was reached whereby they can quit front-line duties but cannot use their HRH titles, must pay back 2.4 million pounds of taxpayer cash and no longer receive public funds, said metro.co.uk in the report.
The pair have been allowed to use their Sussex Royal brand.
Since the couple have not technically been stripped of their HRH styles, like Princess Diana was after her divorce, they can continue to be called Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The developments comes after the couple’s January 8 announcement that they were stepping back as royals in order to become financially independent, but would continue to serve the Queen.