Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have released their first official statement, via spokesman Ashley Hansen, since the release of their tell-all Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan.
According to a quote given by Hansen to The New York Times, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex wish to make it clear that their intention behind leaving the UK, and stepping back from the duties of more senior royals, had 'nothing' to do with seeking more 'privacy.'
As Hansen puts it: 'Their statement announcing their decision to step back mentions nothing of privacy and reiterates their desire to continue their roles and public duties.
'Any suggestion otherwise speaks to a key point of this series.'
This statement comes in response to some of the criticism for the documentary that has emerged in the British press, much of which cites a speech that Prince Harry made to the Sentebale charity, in which he said the couple were taking the step back from royal duties in a bid to have a 'more peaceful life.'
In this 2020 speech, he explains:
'Our hope was to continue serving the queen, the Commonwealth and my military associations without public funding. Sadly that wasn’t possible.
'I’ve accepted this knowing 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 back from all I have ever known to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life.'
Construing this phrase to mean that the 28-year-old heir to the throne was looking for quietness and solitude, some outlets have lambasted the pair for making a Netflix documentary to chart the ins and outs of their lives, putting themselves back in the spotlight.
But as Hansen re-iterates in her statement today, privacy was not the intention and 'peaceful' is not synonymous with silence.
She insists: 'They are choosing to share their story, on their terms, and yet the tabloid media has created an entirely untrue narrative that permeates press coverage and public opinion. The facts are right in front of them'.
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