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(AP) — Prince Harry took aim at the journalists who have dissected his life since the day he was born as he expressed regret for the way he has had to step down from royal duties.
In a personal speech that referenced his late mother, Princess Diana, who died in a car accident in 1997 while being pursued by paparazzi, Harry said Sunday he had “no other option″ but to step away so that he and his wife, Meghan, could seek a more peaceful life.
“When I lost my mum 23 years ago, you took me under your wing,″ Harry said at a dinner in London for Sentebale, his Africa-based charity supporting youngsters with HIV. “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.″
The comments were Harry’s first public remarks since Saturday night, when his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, announced the terms under which the prince and his wife will walk away from most royal duties, give up public funding and try to become financially independent.
The couple is expected to spend most of their time in Canada while maintaining a home in England near Windsor Castle.
Meghan has already returned to Canada, where the couple spent a Christmas break with their 8-month-old son, Archie.
Harry, 35, continued in his royal role Monday, attending a UK-Africa investment summit in London alongside British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
It was not clear how soon Harry will join Meghan, Archie and the couple’s dogs in Canada, or where in the country they plan to live.