Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a major announcement about their future in the royal family on Wednesday, Jan. 8, stating that they are taking a step back as senior members of the royal family and working on becoming “financially independent.”
While the news has sparked quite the conversation on social media, a resurfaced interview with Mail on Sunday, published in 2017, shows that Queen Elizabeth II‘s grandson has been toying with the idea of stepping back from royal duties for some time now.
Princess Diana‘s youngest son opened up to the publication at the time about “wanting out” of the royal family and living an “ordinary life.”
At the time of the interview, Prince Harry was 32-years-old and told the publication that after leaving the Army, he “didn’t want to grow up” and struggled to find a meaningful role for himself in the world but more specifically within the royal family.
“I felt I wanted out but then decided to stay in and work out a role for myself,” Harry told the publication at the time.
The 35-year-old, who lost his mother at only the age of 12, said his decision to not leave the royal family then was motivated by a loyalty to his grandmother, the Queen.
Further, he adds that his short time in the Army—his time in Afghanistan’s Helmand province only lasted ten weeks after his position was leaked in 2007 and he had to be removed for security reasons—was where he felt most at home and “the best escape I’ve ever had.”
He adds, “I felt as though I was really achieving something [in the Army]. I wasn’t a Prince, I was just Harry.”
Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Announcing their decision to take a step back from the royal family, Harry and Meghan wrote in an Instagram post, “After many months of reflection and internal discussions, we have chosen to make a transition this year in starting to carve out a progressive new role within this institution. We intend to step back as ‘senior’ members of the Royal Family and work to become financially independent, while continuing to fully support Her Majesty The Queen.”
The couple added, “It is with your encouragement, particularly over the last few years, that we feel prepared to make this adjustment. We now plan to balance our time between the United Kingdom and North America, continuing to honour our duty to The Queen, the Commonwealth, and our patronages. This geographic balance will enable us to raise our son with an appreciation for the royal tradition into which he was born, while also providing our family with the space to focus on the next chapter, including the launch of our new charitable entity.”
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