Harry speaks for the first time on the decision to renounce his royal title

Prince Harry in London, January 16, 2020.
Prince Harry in London, January 16, 2020. Kirsty Wigglesworth / AP

It's with "Great sadness" but without having "Other choice" that he made the decision to withdraw from the British monarchy, Prince Harry said in a Sunday evening evening in a speech with intimate overtones.

"The decision I made for my wife and I was not taken lightly" but after "Months of talks, following years of challenges", the Duke of Sussex justified himself to the guests of a charity dinner in London.

In this first public speech on the subject since the announcement of his withdrawal, he apologized for not "Not always doing things right", without specifying which ones. "We hoped to continue to serve the Queen, the Commonwealth and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible. ”, he explained.

The British press, which puts this episode in the headlines in its editions of Monday, emphasized the pain felt by the royal offspring, "Devastated" according to the Daily Express. Some newspapers project the new life of the couple in Canada, which could embark on television production. "Duke and Duchess of Netflix? ", questions the Daily Mail, for example.

Read also In the UK, Harry Mountbatten-Windsor and Meghan Markle will no longer have their royal title in the spring

A "hard Megxit"

Harry, 35, and his wife Meghan, 38, revealed on January 8 that they wanted to gain financial independence and settle in North America with their son Archie. Without warning Harry's grandmother and father, Elizabeth II and Prince Charles.

If the Duke and Duchess of Sussex originally wished to keep a foothold in the royal family, the Queen quickly undid them by announcing Saturday evening that they should give up using "Their title of royal highness, since they are no longer active members of the royal family".

The tabloids, who accused them of "Want butter and butter money", welcomed the fact that the duke and duchess, now freed from their "Royal bonds", could no longer "Formally represent the queen". The Sunday Mirror welcomed that "The queen orders a hard Megxit", with reference to the Brexit scheduled for January 31.

The couple's stormy relationship with British newspapers, which Harry described as "Mighty force" in his speech on Sunday, weighed in his decision to step back. Accused of racism toward the Métis American actress, the tabloid press regularly attacked Meghan with vitriolic articles. Prince Harry spoke about research "Of a more peaceful life" to explain this desire for independence.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also "Harry and Meghan's decision thwarts Buckingham's strategy"

Waiver of royal allowance

For protocol expert of the royal family Alastair Bruce, questioned by the Sun, the queen has settled the question of an "iron fist" and the abandonment of the title of royal highness is equivalent to "An abdication", since Harry finds himself thus demoted to the same rank as thirty other British dukes.

If the couple will keep their titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex, they will however renounce their royal allowance and will have to reimburse certain public expenses from which they have benefited, notably the 2.3 million euros employed to renovate their residence in the United Kingdom. .

"It is absolutely unprecedented", said in the Sun Dickie Arbiter, former royal press secretary, noting that"No member of the royal family has ever paid back money", even those who had already been deprived of their royal highness status.

The Daily Telegraph said that faced with the cost of the couple's radical life change, Prince Charles would support his son financially for at least a year. Money must "Come from income from private investments", according to the newspaper.

Palace decisions are to take effect in the spring.


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