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Prince Harry makes 'symbolic' departure to join Meghan Markle in Canada

The prince and his wife are quitting the British monarchy.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

PRINCE HARRY HAS reportedly left for Canada to be reunited with his wife and son as his brother Prince William continues with a busy schedule of royal duties.

Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, are bowing out entirely from representing the British monarchy, in a crisis that has shaken the centuries-old institution.

The prince boarded an evening flight to Vancouver after attending a UK-Africa investment summit in London, in what is expected to be one of his final official engagements as a working royal, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The departure “will be deemed symbolic, coming just two days after Buckingham Palace announced that it was severing all official ties with the Sussexes as they walk away from public life,” the Telegraph said. 

The prince and his former actress wife have struggled with the scrutiny since their wedding in May 2018 and the 35-year-old said there was no alternative to stepping back from front-line royal duties to achieve “a more peaceful life”.

Harry, who remains sixth in line to the throne, also had an informal 20-minute private meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday. 

Johnson has said the whole country would want wish the prince and his wife all the best for the future.

Johnny Hornby, chairman of Sentebale, a charity co-founded by Harry and Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso, said the prince had indicated the solution was not something he “ideally” wanted.

Asked if it mattered to the Africa-based charity, which supports youngsters living with HIV, if Harry was royal or had a title, Hornby told Radio 4’s Today programme: “No, I don’t think it matters at all.

“I think he has a kind of unique ability and an aura around him when he’s with children, when he’s with any gathering, I think his passion comes over.

“We don’t need from Sentebale’s perspective his title, we just need his time and his passion and he’s committed to give us that.”

Harry and Meghan had wanted to remain as working royals, although not prominent members, and drop their public funding so they could become financially independent – a dual role many commentators said was fraught with problems.

Critics have accused the couple of turning their backs on the monarchy to enjoy the freedom of being able to take on commercial ventures.

In the Sentebale speech, Harry told invited guests: “What I want to make clear is we’re not walking away, and we certainly aren’t walking away from you.

“Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth and my military associations, but without public funding. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible.”

Contains reporting from - © AFP 2020 

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