Prince Harry Said He Was “Devastated” About Giving Up His Military Titles

At the Mountbatten Festival of Music, Harry reportedly said that he was "devastated" about stepping down as Captain General of the Royal Marines.

The Duke Of Sussex Attends Founder's Day
(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo)
  • After stepping down as a senior member of the royal family, Prince Harry had to give up his role as Captain General of the Royal Marines.
  • At the Mountbatten Festival of Music, Harry told senior figures in the Marines that he was "devastated" about stepping down as Captain General, and felt he had "no choice" in the matter, according to the Sun—suggesting the royal family made him surrender his role.
  • "I feel I’m letting people down," Harry reportedly said.

Today marks Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's last day as senior members of the royal family, after they announced back in January that they would step down. With Harry's departure from the royals came the loss of three of his military titles, as ITV reports: Captain General of the Royal Marines, Honorary Air Force Commandant of the Royal Air Force Base Honington, and Honorary Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Naval Commands’ Small Ships and Diving. Because military appointments are considered official royal duties, ITV explains, Harry could not hold the roles without being a working royal.

According to the Sun, Harry said he was "devastated" to lose the position of Captain General, and felt he had no say in the decision—which suggests the royal family made him give up his role. An insider at the Mountbatten Festival of Music earlier this month told the paper, "He told people he regretted having to stand down and pretty much said the decision had been forced on him."

"He was being apologetic and did not appear fully at ease," the source continued. "He is a genuine guy and you could see he was upset and emotional as this was one of the last times he would be in uniform among his men and women."

Harry reportedly told senior military figures including the head of the Royal Marines, Major General Matthew Holmes, "I am so proud to have served as the Royal Marines Captain and am devastated that I am having to step down."

"I feel I’m letting people down, but I had no choice," Harry said.

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Emily Dixon
Morning Editor

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.