Prince Harry has broken his silence on leaving the Royal Family, using a speech at a charity dinner in London to speak of his “great sadness” at the decision – which he said was the only option left to him and his wife, Meghan.

In an address to his charity Sentebale at The Ivy in Chelsea, Harry sought to defend Meghan from critics howling that she orchestrated the couple’s bombshell announcement.

“The UK is my home and a place that I love. That will never change,” he said.

“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.

“For those reasons, it brings me 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.

“I know I haven’t always got it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option.”

Harry said the couple wanted to continue to serve the Queen and the Commonwealth, but without public funding it was “unfortunately” not possible.

It comes a little more than a week after Harry and Meghan dropped the bombshell news they would be stepping back as “senior royals”, moving to Canada and working to become financially independent.

After days of negotiations, it was announced by Buckingham Palace that Harry and Meghan would cease to be working members of the royal family. The Queen – who was blindsided by the news as much as anyone else – said Harry, Meghan and baby Archie would “always be much loved members of my family.”

You can watch Harry’s full speech on the Sussex Royal Instagram account:

Image: Instagram