LONDON — He may be sixth in line to the British throne, but Prince Harry asked simply to be referred to as “Harry” as he arrived back in the United Kingdom from Canada to speak at an event on Wednesday.

His request to drop his royal title while at a conference promoting his new eco-friendly travel partnership in Edinburgh, Scotland, followed weeks of heated speculation over the future of Harry and his wife, Meghan, as members of Britain’s royal family.

Also known as the duke and duchess of Sussex, the pair announced in January that they would be stepping back from the royal family and working to become financially independent. Last week, it was confirmed they would give up their “Sussex Royal” branding along with their royal responsibilities as of spring.

Before his speech on sustainable travel in Edinburgh on Feb. 26, Britain's Duke of Sussex asked to simply be called Harry. (Reuters)

“He’s made it clear that we are all just to call him Harry,” host Ayesha Hazarika told those in attendance at the Travalyst event on Wednesday. “So, ladies and gentlemen, please give a big, warm, Scottish welcome to Harry,” she urged as Harry took to the stage to discuss the future of sustainable travel.

Speaking at the event, Harry said Travalyst’s goal was to “transform the future of tourism and travel,” while also hailing Scotland for its green approach to tourism.

“Scotland is one of the fastest-growing tourism destinations worldwide, and it’s at the forefront of a more sustainable approach, which is why your insight into these issues is so incredibly valuable,” he said.

On March 31, Meghan and Harry will officially scale back their official duties. At the end of next month, their office at Buckingham Palace will also close.

The couple have expressed a desire to split their time between North America and the U.K., along with their son, Archie-Harrison. Their decision stunned and divided many in Britain, with some critics saying it’s a step too far. Others, have hailed the couple for taking steps to regain control of their lives after years of incessant hounding from the notorious British tabloids.

“It’s intended to shock” royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said of Harry’s decision in an email to The Washington Post on Wednesday. “People will lose patience with this posturing,” he predicted.

“If they ultimately don’t want to be royal they don’t have to be, and perhaps after a year they will opt out of the royal family officially. Megxit begins on 31st March. Until then it would only be reasonable behavior to abide by the arrangement that has been agreed with the queen,” he said.

Author Matt Haig tweeted another take on Wednesday. “I think it is great that a man called Harry is going to be called Harry and is happy to be called Harry,” he wrote.

During the next few weeks, Harry and Meghan are expected to make an appearance for at least six events before they officially step down from being senior royals.