Certain members of the Royal Family have officially gone their separate ways. On January 21, Prince Harry officially left the United Kingdom and traveled to Canada, where his wife of two years and their 8-month-old son were waiting for him.
While Harry will no longer be referred to as “His Royal Highness,” the Queen says she “respects and understands their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”
“My family and I are entirely supportive of Harry and Meghan’s desire to create a new life as a young family. Although we would have preferred them to remain full-time working Members of the Royal Family, we respect and understand their wish to live a more independent life as a family while remaining a valued part of my family.”
And Harry himself also issued a lengthy statement following his and Meghan’s decision to seek a more private and sustainable life for their family. The prince said, in part:
“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!”
Harry then continued by speaking highly of Meghan. “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 as 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.” Harry then said that it’s because of those reasons that it brings him “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 got 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 honor to serve my country and the Queen.”
You can watch Prince Harry’s full statement below:
Later in the speech, Harry also mentioned their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, who was born in May.
“It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service,” Harry said. “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!” He concluded:
“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. I will continue 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 imagined. We are taking a leap of faith – thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step.”
Now, Thomas Markle, Meghan’s estranged father, is also speaking out regarding their decision to step back as senior members of the royal family. “When they got married, they took on an obligation,” Thomas said in an interview with ET Canada. “And that obligation was to be a part of the Royals and to represent the Royals. It would be foolish for them not too.”
Thomas continued, “This is like one of the greatest long-living institutions ever. They’re destroying it, they’re cheapening it, they’re making it shabby. They are turning it into a Walmart with a crown on it. It’s something that’s ridiculous, they shouldn’t be doing this.”
The estranged father said he doesn’t foresee his daughter or son-in-law reaching out to him, especially after making the above comments. He then went on to call both Harry and Meghan “lost souls.”
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