Britain’s Prince Harry expressed “great sadness” on Sunday at the way he and his wife Meghan had to give up their royal titles as part of separation settlement with the Queen.
“It brings me great sadness that it has come to this,” Harry said in his first remarks on Saturday’s historic agreement, made during a public address and posted on the couple’s Instagram account.
“Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible,” he told supporters of his Africa-based charity for youngsters with HIV at an event in London.
The settlement stripped Harry and Meghan of public funding and required them to repay £2.4 million ($3.1 million) of taxpayer’s money spent on renovating their Frogmore Cottage home near Windsor Castle.
Harry was also forced to give up the military titles and patronages he was awarded after serving two tours in Afghanistan with the British Army.
But Harry said he felt “utmost respect” for Queen Elizabeth II.
“It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service.”
“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 me over the last few months.”
He also hinted at some trepidation at starting a new life away from his royal home. He and Meghan will spend some time in Canada before deciding whether to move to the United States or another country.
“We are taking a leap of faith — thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step,” he said.