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Britain’s Prince Harry spoke on Sunday of his sadness at being forced to give up his royal duties in a deal with Queen Elizabeth II and senior Windsors that will see him and his wife, Meghan, exit official roles to seek an independent future.
Buckingham Palace and the queen announced on Saturday that Harry and Meghan would no longer be working members of Britain’s monarchy, no longer use their “Royal Highness” titles and would now pay their own way in life, freeing them to forge new careers.
The new arrangement was struck to end a crisis the couple sparked by announcing earlier this month they wanted to cut down on official engagements and spend more time in North America, while remaining active royals.
In a speech to the Sentebale charity on Sunday, a clearly upset Harry said the final outcome was not what he and his American wife, a former actress, had wanted.
“Our hope was to continue serving the queen, the Commonwealth and my military associations without public funding. Sadly that wasn’t possible,” the prince, the sixth-in-line to the throne, said.
“I’ve accepted this knowing it doesn’t change who I am, or how committed I am. But I hope that helps you understand what it had come to, that I would step back from all I have ever known to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life.”
Under the arrangement, Harry will remain a prince and the couple will keep their titles of Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they begin a new life split between Britain and North America, where they will spend the majority of their time. But they will not take part in any future ceremonial events or royal tours.
“It brings me great sadness that it has come to this,” said Harry. He said the decision to step back had followed months of talks and had not been a decision he had come to lightly.
“As far as this goes, there really was no other option,” he added.
He told the audience at the charity he founded to help children with HIV in Africa that he wanted them to hear the truth from him “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”.
“The U.K. is my home and a place that I love. That will never change,” he said.
First published in The Japan Times on Jan. 20.
One minute chat about a big decision you have made.
Collect words related to Prince Harry,
e.g: royalty, queen, title, duke and duchess
1) monarchy: a form of government with a king or queen at its head, e.g., “There are 44 sovereign states in the world with a monarch as head.”
2) forge: to move ahead steadily, e.g., “The boat forged a route through the icy water.”
1) ceremonial: marked by ceremony, paying close attention to detail, e.g., “Many ceremonial events were held in Japan last year.”
Guess the headline
‘Sad’ Prince Harry says no other o_ _ _ _ _ but to end r_ _ _ _ role
1) What is Harry and Meghan’s situation?
2) What sparked the crisis?
3) According to Prince Harry’s statement, when did he start talking about this?
Let’s discuss the article
1) What do you think about the news?
2) What do you think is the best option for both Harry and Meghan to take?
3) Have you ever needed to take a break from your family?
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