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Small detail in Prince Harry's moving speech that reveals he made the decision to step back

The Duke of Sussex spoke of his "great sadness" about stepping back from royal duties

prince harry speech
Danielle Stacey
Danielle StaceyOnline Royal CorrespondentLondon
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Prince Harry attended a fundraiser dinner for his charity Sentebale at the Ivy Garden Chelsea on Sunday, where he gave a heartfelt speech and spoke of his "great sadness" at stepping back from his royal role. There was also a telling detail within his remarks that reveals that the Duke was the one who made the decision, despite reports claiming Meghan was the driving force behind the couple's plans. 

READ: Prince Harry reveals 'great sadness' at outcome of royal discussions, talks future with Meghan and Archie

WATCH: Prince Harry's speech in full

He pointedly 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 gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option. "

MORE: Baby Archie's godparents revealed as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle step back from royal duties 

harry arrival© Photo: Getty Images

Harry arriving at the Ivy Chelsea Garden

In last week's edition of HELLO! magazine, HELLO!'s royal editor Emily Nash also noted: "Much has been made of Meghan's influence on the decision, but it understandable that Harry would want to protect his wife and son however he can. And I suspect he has been weighing up this move since long before they even met. On a tour of New Zealand five years ago, he told me how his decade of service in the army began as a job, but became 'an opportunity for me to escape the limelight.'

"And when I asked whether he had ever considered opting out of public life, his response spoke volumes: "One of the reasons I love Africa is because I can be there and mix in amongst communities and people who do not care who I am. Whereas somewhere like here, it simply wouldn’t work."

Buckingham Palace released the finalised details of the agreement reached for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex as they step back as senior royals on Saturday, including that the couple will no longer use their HRH status and will no longer represent the Queen. The 93-year-old monarch thanked Prince Harry and Meghan for their "dedicated work across this country, the Commonwealth and beyond," and said that the couple and their son Archie "will always be much loved members of my family."

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