The Duke of Sussex and his wife, Meghan Markle, attended the Endeavour Fund Awards at Mansion House in London on Thursday, where Harry delivered a passionate speech about being of service to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, the U.K. and moving forward.
"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 began. "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."
He then took a moment to give his family a subtle nod. "Being able to serve Queen and Country is something we all are rightly proud of, and it never leaves us. Once served, always serving!" he said.
The Endeavour Fund Awards celebrate the achievements of wounded, injured, and sick servicemen and women who have taken part in sporting and adventure challenges over the last year. During his speech, Harry -- who served in the Army for 10 years -- acknowledged that "leaving the military and hanging up your uniform is -- we know -- an incredibly hard thing to do... unless of course, it’s blue in color... But being forced to hang it up due to injury, beyond your control, can be even more difficult to accept."
"It can take time and effort to recognize the fact that it is something that happened to you, rather than something that’s wrong with you, so please don’t ever forget that," he continued. "The Endeavour Fund came from seeing the gaping hole that can be left after taking off that uniform."
He added that "the Endeavour Fund is not just about recovery, it’s about discovering a new way of living -- finding a new sense of purpose and you have most definitely found that."
After being involved with the military for many years, last month, the terms of his and Meghan's departure from the royal family stated that Harry would be keeping his rank of Major and honorary ranks of Lieutenant Commander and Squadron Leader. He will not, however, "perform any official duties associated with these roles, but given his dedication to the military community and 10 years of service he will, of course, continue his unwavering support to the military community in a non-official capacity."
During his speech, he told the audience that he felt "lucky to be able to count myself as one of you; and am deeply proud to have served among you as Captain Wales."
"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 concluded, before congratulating the winners.
The night was quite a memorable one for the duke and duchess after one of the honorees proposed to his girlfriend during his acceptance speech. Harry and Meghan were elated and cheered on the happy couple from their seats.
The event marked the first public appearance for the royal couple since they relocated to Canada in January to start their new life. Meghan and Harry's transition after they decided to step down as senior members of the royal family will happen on March 31. During this visit to the U.K., the couple will take part in a variety of events both together and solo, including attending the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey alongside Prince William and Kate Middleton on Monday.