The monarchy was rocked following the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s decision in January to no longer carry out senior royal duties as they strived to become “financially independent”. Since then, they have faced waves of criticism but have now finally settled into their new life over in California, after completing their last roles back at the end of March. But just months before the bombshell statement in November, Meghan and Harry posted an emotional update detailing a cause close to the Duke of Sussex’s heart – and how he intended to support it.
Harry joined in celebrations at the Royal Albert Hall as he delivered a speech at the OnSide Award, which saw thousands of volunteers recognised for their efforts in supporting charities.
Following the event, the then-Sussex Royal Instagram account celebrated the awards, while delivering an emotional message alongside the post.
It read: “The Duke of Sussex attended the inaugural OnSide Awards at the Royal Albert Hall this evening, joining over 2,500 youth, volunteers and staff of @OnSideYZ.
“These awards celebrate the young people who have gone above and beyond for their communities, many of whom have overcome the most challenging of circumstances.
“With 13 Youth Zones around the UK and over 50,000 members, OnSide is making an incredible impact in some of the most deprived communities.
“During visits to OnSide Youth Zones earlier this year, The Duke and Duchess had the chance to witness the impact these facilities are having – providing local youth with a safe space where they can learn new skills, develop lasting friendships and be part of a shared and supportive community.”
Many were quick to spot how happy Harry looked after pictures from the event were released.
At the time, Harry and Meghan were enjoying an extended break from the Royal Family, after enduring a long year, which saw them welcome baby Archie to the world as well as go on an exhausting trip to South Africa with the new-born.
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The appearance marked what was the last royal duty for the couple before their Christmas break.
The move to leave the Royal Family in January wasn’t the first time Harry had considered relinquishing his roles.
According to Metro in 2017, Harry once told royal expert Angela Levin that he wanted to leave but only carried on out of loyalty to his grandmother, the Queen.
He said: “I felt I wanted out, but then decided to stay in and work out a role for myself.
“We don’t want to be just a bunch of celebrities, but instead use our role for good.”