Harry has private meeting with Boris Johnson at 'final' event as senior royal

20 January 2020, 19:39 | Updated: 20 January 2020, 19:41

Prince Harry meets Boris Johnson at the summit
Prince Harry meets Boris Johnson at the summit. Picture: PA

By Kate Buck

The Duke of Sussex had a meeting with the Prime Minister behind closed doors at what is expected to be his final royal engagement before he jets off to Canada to begin his new life with Meghan.

Prince Harry is understood to have met Boris Johnson in private on the margins of the UK-Africa Investment Summit being held in London today.

Harry and the Prime Minister met one-to-one in a room upstairs at the event in London's Docklands, with no aides from either side allowed to enter.

Harry was attending the UK-Africa Investment summit and is set to host bilateral meetings with the presidents of Mozambique and Malawi and the prime minister of Morocco.

Later on, his brother the Duke of Cambridge will host a reception at Buckingham Palace solo for the first time, but it is understood Harry will miss it as he prepares to be reunited with the Duchess of Sussex and their young son Archie after almost two weeks apart from one another.

There are no more official engagements in his diary, and he is expected to fly straight to Vancouver after the event.

His appearance at the summit comes just hours after he spoke of his "great sadness" at standing down from the royal family, but felt there was "no other option".

Prince Harry is seen at his final Royal engagement before jetting of to Canada
Prince Harry is seen at his final Royal engagement before jetting of to Canada. Picture: PA
He has stepped back as a senior royal
He has stepped back as a senior royal. Picture: PA
Harry is expected to leave the UK for Canada imminently
Harry is expected to leave the UK for Canada imminently. Picture: PA

Harry said he and Meghan had hoped to continue serving the Queen, the Commonwealth and his military associations, without any public funding, but this was not possible.

In his first public speech since the couple's decision to step down as senior royals, Harry said he wanted his family to have a "more peaceful" life.

He said: "Once Meghan and I were married, we were excited, we were hopeful, and we were here to serve.

"For those reasons, it brings me great sadness that it has come to this.

"The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back, is not one I made lightly.

"It was so many months of talks after so many years of challenges.

Harry and Megan are set to begin their new life in Canada with their young son
Harry and Megan are set to begin their new life in Canada with their young son. Picture: PA

"And I know I haven't always gotten it right, but as far as this goes, there really was no other option.

"What I want to make clear is we're not walking away, and we certainly aren't walking away from you.

"Our hope was to continue serving the Queen, the commonwealth, and my military associations, but without public funding.

"Unfortunately, that wasn't possible."

The duke was speaking at a dinner for supporters of Sentebale - his Africa-based charity supporting youngsters with HIV - at the Ivy Chelsea Garden in London.

It comes a day after royal family talks concluded and the Sussexes announced they will stop carrying out royal duties from the spring, no longer use the title HRH and will repay the taxpayers' millions spent on their Berkshire home.

But Harry said the couple will continue to lead a life of service, and were taking a leap of faith.

He added: "It has been our privilege to serve you, and we will continue to lead a life of service.

"I will always have the utmost respect for my grandmother, my commander in chief, and I am incredibly grateful to her and the rest of my family, for the support they have shown Meghan and I over the last few months.

"I will continue to be the same man who holds his country dear and dedicates his life to supporting the causes, charities and military communities that are so important to me.

"We are taking a leap of faith - thank you for giving me the courage to take this next step."

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