Prince Harry’s ‘service is universal’ comment ‘taken out of context’, pal claims

A close friend of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has jumped to their defence after the couple were accused of being "disrespectful" to the Queen in their parting statement from the Royal Family.

Her Majesty announced on Friday that Meghan Markle and Prince Harry could not continue with the "responsibilities and duties" that come with a life of public service.

Buckingham Palace said the pair will therefore be stripped of their titles and privileges, including Prince Harry's honorary Captain General of the Royal Marines role.

Both Harry and Meghan released a statement in the wake of the announcement, vowing to live a life of service regardless of title.

A spokesman for the couple said "service is universal," which is believed to have infuriated Royal sources who feel as though the wording was "disrespectful" to the Queen.

Prince Harry’s friend, Dean Scott, who met the Duke in the military, said the line should be "taken in context" with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s 2020 charity efforts.

Mr Scott said the focus should not be on them "stepping back," but on their love for "philanthropy".

He told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme the Royal split gives the couple "more opportunity" to do good and "the freedom" to help more.

Scott said: "We’re all focusing on them stepping back. I made some comments last year that there’s so many positives we can take from this, especially their love for philanthropy.

"Obviously them being within the royal spotlight, there’s a lot of protocol and red tape.

"But actually, their decision to step back gives them more opportunity and freedom to do more and help more. So I think [the statement] is probably taken in context."

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Mr Scott, who is originally from Aberdeenshire in Scotland but now lives in California where he reportedly sees his old friend, added that the pair "like to do things differently" and parting from the family allows them to stay in the limelight but "give back" constantly.

He said: "They’re very much a modern couple and like to do things differently.

"So they see that they can still do a service but in their own way.

It keeps one end of the party happy and Harry and Meghan in the position that they can still be in that public limelight but obviously always giving back."

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