Great Britain

Prince Harry ‘defiant’ over Megxit and dropped royal title as he ‘doesn’t need one to be a big deal’, says presenter

PRINCE Harry is "defiant" over Megxit and dropped his royal title as he "doesn't need one to be a big deal", a presenter claimed today.

Journalist and former Labour advisor Ayesha Hazarika hosted the Duke of Sussex at his first UK engagement since moving to Canada - revealing he had been "warm and relaxed".

Ms Hazarika had introduced the 35-year-old to the sustainable travel conference in Edinburgh yesterday, telling the crowd: "He's made it clear we are all just to call him Harry."

And she today said Harry "didn't look like a man wracked with anxiety" after quitting as a royal and moving to North America with wife Meghan Markle and their son Archie.

Speaking to Good Morning Britain, she said: "He was very warm, relaxed and seemed very focus on the reason he was up there.

"He was pretty chilled out. One thing I did notice was that he was very informal. He wandered around very freely with all the other delegates.

"I got the impression he is very focused on what he wants to do. He was pretty defiant as well. I didn't sense that he thinks 'this has all been a nightmare, I'm going to hide away.

"From the reaction he got and the way he conducted himself, he clearly doesn't need a title to be a big deal."

Harry this week returned to the UK for his final engagements before he and his wife, Meghan Markle, officially step down as senior royals.

The couple will no longer use their HRH titles, and last week agreed they wouldn't use the term Royal.

Yet Ms Hazarika said even without his royal title, Prince Harry would still remain popular.

GMB host Susanna Reid was quick to reply: "I'm not sure it's about not liking them. But Harry is talking about sustainable travel, so rather than flying in why wouldn't you Skype into the conference?"

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But Ms Hazarika pointed out was about mitigating the impact of travel, rather than stopping it all together.

She added: "There were tonnes of experts from the travel industry there, they were just pleased to see him.

"He asked us just to call him Harry. He wanted to be accessible, informal and for people to come and chat to him.

"It was probably a nod to what you're talking about, but with the reaction he got, the way he conducted himself, he clearly doesn't need a title to be a big deal."

She had shared a number of photos with her posing with Harry, who appeared keen to speak to fellow guests at yesterday's event.

Flying in via a commercial flight to London on Tuesday night, Harry caught a LNER train to Edinburgh for the Wednesday sustainable conference.

He spent the day promoting his Travalyst scoring system initiative that shows the eco-friendly status of aviation, accommodation and holiday experiences.

The 35-year-old had previously faced criticism for talking about making environmentally-friendly choices last year when he and Meghan took four private jet flights over 11 days.

But when launching Travalyst Amsterdam last autumn, he defended his use of private planes, saying he spent "99% of my life" using commercial flights, but occasionally needed to ensure "my family are safe".

Yesterday's event is the first in a string of engagements for the sixth-in-line to the throne as he returns to the UK for two weeks.

On Friday, Harry will work with Jon Bon Jovi to record a song to promote the Invictus Games.

And next week, he and Meghan will attend the Endeavour Fund Awards on March 5 in London while Prince William and Kate Middleton are in Ireland.

The duke and duchess's lives as working royals will end on March 31, when they stop representing the Queen and become financially independent.

As part of the Megxit deal, Harry must ditch his honorary military positions for at least 12 months.

They have been allowed to keep their HRH titles but have been forced to accept that they will not use them publicly as they tout for business around the globe.

The Sussexes have already agreed to repay the £2.4million of taxpayers’ money used to refurbish their Frogmore Cottage home in Windsor and are expected to pay a commercial rent for it of about £30,000 a month.

Prince Harry arrives for eco-tourism talk in Edinburgh as crowds urged 'just to call him Harry' in first engagement back in Britain