Prince Harry has broken his silence on Sunday for the first time since he and his wife, Meghan Markle, made it public that they wished to retire as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family, statingthat “there really was no other option.”
The Duke of Sussex explained during a charity dinner in London that the decision he made with his wife “was not something taken lightly”, but that it came after “months of conversations and years of challenges.”
“I am very sad that he has come to this,” said Prince Harry, who acknowledged “that he has not always” done the right thing, “but in regards to this, there really was no other option,” he said.
His words come a day after Buckingham Palace issued a statement confirming that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were no longer “active members of the British Royal Family.”
According to the statement, “with the blessing” of Queen Elizabeth II, the couple are obliged to withdraw from royal duties, including all military appointments, and “will no longer receive public funding” for any tasks.
However, the Sussexes will maintain their patronages and associations, but they will no longer be able to formally represent the queen, nor use their Royal titles.
In addition, the Duke and the Princess of Sussex have expressed their intention to return the 2.4 million pounds (more than 2.8 million euros) of public money recently received for the refurbishment of their official residence, Frogmore Cottage, in which they will continue to live when they are in the United Kingdom.
Frogmore Cottage is a 19th-century building surrounded by large garden areas where, before the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Queen Elizabeth liked to walk her dogs and grow flowers.
Before the renovation, the property had 10 rooms, which have now been converted to five bedrooms with their respective five private bathrooms.
The queen mother and George VI spent part of their honeymoon living in the property which is built on a plot of 130,000 square metres with trees, gardens and lakes. A rural environment where there is also the Royal Mausoleum, a monument in honour of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, decorated with marbles and frescoes by the painter Rafael.
On January 8, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced their intention to “step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family” with a view to being economically independent and living outside the United Kingdom, most likely in Canada.