Prince Harry says he’s still ‘proud’ to serve Queen Elizabeth II

For love and country! Prince Harry will always be proud of his military background, his family, and his home country, even after stepping back from his royal duties.

“Meghan and I are so happy to be back here with you, to celebrate each and every one of you for your achievements, your service and your resilience,” Harry said while attending the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on Thursday, March 5. “For some, the military community represents a brotherhood or sisterhood that no other organization can provide, and for others, it’s a way of life which you never want to leave. For a lot of us, it’s both.”

Harry, 35, and his wife, Meghan Markle, 38, appeared at the annual event on Thursday, marking their return to London following their January step down announcement and their move to Canada.

The former military pilot continued his speech by honoring the royal family and the country he grew up serving.

“Being able to serve Queen and Country is something we all are rightly proud of, and it never leaves us,” he said. “Once served, always serving!”

Harry, who served in the British Army for 10 years, explained that “leaving the military and hanging up your uniform is, we know, an incredibly hard thing to do,” noting that “being forced to hang it up due to injury, beyond your control, can be even more difficult to accept.”

He concluded by thanking those who have come to his aid and supported him since his departure from the military, which was required of him once he changed his duties within the royal family in 2020.“A lot of you tonight have told me you have my back, well, I’m also here to tell you, I’ve always got yours,” he said.

Thursday’s event marked the third year the couple have attended the awards, which celebrate the achievements of veterans who were injured in service and been a part of sporting and adventure challenges over the course of the year.

Before entering the event, the pair stepped out in the rain together, for their first joint appearance since January. Harry covered Meghan with an umbrella as they were photographed walking along the street.

Us Weekly previously reported on Thursday morning that the former Suits star was seen in the U.K. for the first time since relocating to Canada with her husband and their 9-month-old son, Archie.

Harry flew back to London on February 25 ahead of an engagement in Edinburgh. A few days later, he reportedly had a “heart-to-heart” with his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, at Windsor Castle.

“The last thing Elizabeth wants is for Harry to feel estranged from his family and she made her feelings clear about this in the meeting,” a source told Us about the Sunday, March 1, reunion.

A second insider revealed that the prince “feels terrible about hurting his grandmother, whom he adores.”

The couple is set to reunite with Prince William and Duchess Kate on Monday, March 9, for the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey.