Prince Harry says there 'was no other option' than to give up royal titles

Harry spoke during his first public appearance since Buckingham Palace announced a deal allowing him and his wife, Meghan Markle, to step back from their royal duties as Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
7:33 | 01/21/20

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Transcript for Prince Harry says there 'was no other option' than to give up royal titles
I want you to hear the truth from me. As much as I can share. Not as a prince or a duke but as Harry. Reporter: For nearly two weeks an unprecedented royal family crisis. And this past weekends prince Harry finally breaking his silence in an emotional speech. I've grown up feeling supported from so many of you. And I watched as you welcomed Meghan with open arms, as you saw me find the love and happiness that I'd hoped for all my life. Finally, the second son of Diana got hitched. Hooray. Reporter: The beloved son of princess Diana, who the world watched grow from redheaded boy to rebellious teenager to military vet. Now saying good-bye. Once Meghan and I were married we were excited. We were hopeful and we were here to serve. Reporter: Explaining why he and his new American wife, Meghan Markle, felt they had no choice but to walk away from the only life he's ever known. 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. Reporter: The duke and duchess of Sussex set off an international firestorm after announcing on Instagram they were stepping back as senior Royals, aiming to be financially Royal bombshell. The growing fallout from Harry and Meghan's royal exit. Did the queen know this was coming? This is pretty unprecedented because this is a senior member of the royal family, a very popular one too, effectively saying he no longer wants to carry on in his royal duties. Reporter: After an emergency summit the queen released a statement this weekend saying that "While Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family, they will be making a complete professional separation from the royal family." This is a clean break for Harry and Meghan. Perhaps not the move they wanted to make. But it woos their desire to pursue commercial interests that could have been seen as cashing in on the royal family's name that prevented them from remaining inside the house of Windsor. Reporter: Harry and Meghan will no longer perform any public duties on behalf of the queen and will no longer use their royal highnesses titles. They're not being stripped of their titles, but they have agreed not to use them in their new public endeavors. They will still be able to use duke and duchess of Sussex. Reporter: Perhaps most painful for prince Harry, he'll be forced to relinquish his military titles and associations. Prince Harry found his purpose in the military. He served in the British army for ten years with active service twice in Afghanistan. It's very easy to completely forget about who I am when I'm in the army. I'm one of the guys. I don't get treated any Reporter: But he is giving all that up for a new life with his family in North America. I've accepted this knowing that it doesn't change who I am or how committed I am. But I hope that helps you understand what it had come to. That I would step my family back from all I have ever known to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life. Reporter: The couple will keep their private charities, including Harry's flagship project, the invictus games for wounded soldiers. Where Harry and Meghan have ended up is a far cry from how it all began. A royal wedding watched by millions. But it's not been the fairy tale they hoped for. Back in October in an itv documentary Harry and Meghan, an African journey, Meghan admitted that royal life has been overwhelming. Not many people have asked if I'm okay. But it's a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes. Would it be fair to say not really okay, it's really been a struggle? Yes. Reporter: The sussexes' surprise announcement to walk away reportedly upset his brother William and his father, prince Charles, who walked Meghan down the aisle. There's no doubt from the people I've spoken to close to Charles that he feels extremely disappointed and let down by what's happened but accepts that Harry and Meghan want their life in a different way. But he still feels let down. Reporter: Today prince Charles's wife Camilla was asked by itv if she will miss her stepson and his wife. Of course. Reporter: The perceived rift between Harry and William is especially disheartening for fans of the royal brothers. The young dukes were inseparable as children and leaned on one another after the death of their mother, Diana. In itv's documentary Harry addressed the ongoing reports of tension. How much of that is true? Stuff -- stuff happens. But look, we're brothers. We'll always be brothers. Reporter: Now Harry and his wife will begin their new life in Canada, where Meghan has been living with their son. Meghan has already started focusing on one of her key issues, female empowerment, with a visit to a women's center in Vancouver last week. She didn't talk about her life as a royal. Her interest was very much focused on the women. Reporter: The couple hope they can build a life outside of the glare of the British tabloids, who Harry blames for the death of his mother. The media is a powerful force, and my hope is one day or collective support for each other could be more powerful because this is so much bigger than just us. Reporter: Prince Harry and Meghan have felt under siege from the start, exacerbated by coverage of Meghan's estranged father Thomas, who just gave a new interview to uk's channel 5. They're keeping it, they're making it shabby, they're turning it into a Walmart with a crown on it now. Reporter: When they can Harry and Meghan have hit back against the press. Last fall Meghan filed suit against the mail on Sunday and its parent company. And Harry announced he was suing the sun and the daily mirror for allegedly hacking his phone. In her statement about the couple's future the queen acknowledging the pressure they face, saying, "I recognize the challenges they've experienced as a result of intense scrutiny over the last two years and support their wish for a more independent life." Prince Harry and Meghan will no longer receive public funds and will pay back the 3.1 million British taxpayers spent renovating frogmore cottage. The future of the name Sussex royal which they have branded remains in question. Some believe it looks like they're cashing in on their royal status. But others say they should be free to do what they want. Reporter: All this is uncharted territory. I'm sure people will be throwing opportunities their way. But they've made it very clear that anything that they do do they are going to respect the values of the queen and the integrity that she upholds. Reporter: Prince Harry headed to Canada, a new chapter still in the public eye but now on their own terms. I will continue to be the same man who holds his country dear and dedicates life to supporting the causes, charities and military communities that are so important to me. This role has told me more about what is right and just than I could ever have imagined. We are taking a leap of faith. So thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step. And be sure to follow continuing royal coverage on abcnews.com.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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