Prince Harry Breaks Royal Silence, Admits to "Sadness" Over Split

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Prince Harry did not want to cause any problems.

He and Meghan Markle didn't want it to come to THIS.

Really, they didn't.

Prince Harry in a Nice Suit

In his first address since announcing he plans to step back from his Royal Family and Royal Duties, Prince Harry spoke at length on Sunday about this decision.

"Before I begin, I must say that I can only imagine what you may have heard or perhaps read over the last few weeks," he said at an event organized for his supporters of his Sentebale charity, which is aimed at supporting the mental health and wellbeing of children afflicted with HIV.

And he continued:

"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 that many of you have watched grow up over the last 35 years – but with a clearer perspective."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Outta There

Harry said all this a day after his grandmother stripped him and Markle of their official titles.

He and his wife will soon, indeed, head off on their own, away from all the trappings of Kensington Palace, and live for the most part in North America.

“The U.K. is my home and a place that I love. That will never change," added Harry in his speech, adding:

"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!”

Prince Harry as Host

Harry went on to defend booth his own reputation and also that of Markle.

The Duchess of Sussex, of course, has come under continual fire from the press since the day she married Harry in May of 2018.

"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," he said.

"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."

Thumbs Up, Guys

It didn't take long, however, for Harry and Meghan to realize this dream could never really come true.

Not under the glare of the unfair and critical spotlight that accompanies members of the Royal Family.

"For those reasons, it brings me great sadness that it has come to this," said Harry in the most memorable section of his speech.

"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 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."

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Get Serious

Harry further emphasized his new family dynamic with the Royal Family.

"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 to 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."

A Royal Family Photo

Harry also referenced his late mother Princess Diana -- who was killed while being chased by the paparazzai and who was a strong advocate for those affected by HIV and AIDS.

"I was born into this life, and it is a great honor to serve my country and the queen.

"When I lost my mum 23 years ago, you took me under your wing. You’ve looked out for me for so long, but the media is a powerful force, and my hope is one day our collective support for each other can be more powerful because this is so much bigger than just us.

'It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service."

Harry and Meghan and Archie

Harry and Meghan announced their stunning decision on January 8.

This is how Harry concluded his speech today:

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.

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