Prince Harry blames 'powerful' media for stepping away from royals

Prince Harry placed blame on the “powerful" media for the decision that he and his wife would step away from their duties as members of the British royal family and cut themselves off from public funding.

“When I lost my mum 23 years ago, you took me under your wing,″ Harry said in remarks delivered in London on Sunday, according to The Associated Press. The Duke of Sussex had reportedly been speaking at a charity event hosted by Sentebale, an organization he founded that is dedicated to supporting those affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana.

“You 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,” he continued.

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Harry said that he and his wife, Meghan MarkleMeghan MarkleRoyal family honors International Nurses Day amid coronavirus pandemic: 'Thank you for everything you're doing' The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump embraces underdog role Prince Harry and Meghan Markle celebrate Archie's first birthday with coronavirus charity video MORE, had hoped “to continue serving the queen, the Commonwealth and my military associations, but without public funding.” But he added that that “unfortunately” was not possible after Queen Elizabeth and other senior members of the royal family held talks on the matter earlier this month

“For those reasons, it brings me great sadness that it has come to this,″ Harry said. ”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 got it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option.″ 

Harry reportedly went on to say at the event that he will always have the “utmost respect” for his grandmother, whom he referred to as his “commander in chief,” and said he is “incredibly grateful to her and the rest of my family for the support they have shown Meghan and I over the last few months.” 

The couple has been the focus of British tabloids since they were married in 2018. As a result of their agreement with the queen, Harry and Meghan will no longer be using their "royal highness" titles starting this spring.