JUNE 8, 2022
- Prince Harry and Meghan flew by private jet from the UK to US, according to The Times of London.
- The couple faced backlash as they have spent years speaking publicly about their efforts to protect the environment.
- Prince Harry said in 2019 that he spends “99% of my life traveling the world by commercial.”
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have faced backlash for traveling from the UK to the US in a private jet, The Times of London reports.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were in London over the weekend with their children, Archie and Lilibet, for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, which marked the monarch’s 70th anniversary on the British throne.
They traveled 5,500 miles from Farnborough, England, to Santa Barbara, California, in the Bombardier Global 6000, according to The Times of London and the Daily Mail. The Times of London reports that the private jet can fly 6,000 miles without refueling. The jet features a private stateroom and can carry up to 13 passengers, according to the same outlet.
The journey would have emitted almost 60 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, according to Paramount Business Jets, a chartered flight provider, cited in the Times of London report.
Some critics on Twitter are calling the couple hypocritical for taking the private jet after spending years promoting efforts to protect the environment. Representatives for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
“Do as they do! Save the planet by flying in a private jet,” the UK politician David Kurten wrote on Twitter, alongside a link to a Daily Mail article.
—David Kurten (@davidkurten) June 7, 2022
One Twitter user, @brexitblog_info, wrote: “The Duke & Duchess of Netflix use a gas guzzling Range Rover & private jet on their journey home. What a pair of climate change frauds.” On Thursday, the couple were seen in a Range Rover on the way to the Major General’s Office where they watched the Queen’s Trooping the Colour parade, according to the Daily Mail.
—Voice of Reason (@brexitblog_info) June 6, 2022
Another Twitter user @Anna_Ratcliff_ said the entire royal family should be held accountable.
“To put this in perspective, it’s not just Harry and Meghan, but all of the Queen family, who polluted the environment on pointless royal jollies. When they could have just zoomed these countries,” they wrote.
—Anna Ratcliff (@Anna_Ratcliff_) June 7, 2022
The royal family were criticized for their attendance at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow last year. Graham Smith, a representative for the anti-monarchy group Republic, said the royals shouldn’t be praised for supporting the environment while they make use of helicopters and private jets to attend engagements, Marie Claire reported.
As for the Sussexes, royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams tells Insider, since they “have made numerous statements on protecting the environment and there is therefore criticism when they travel by private jet, as they are expected to practice what they preach.”
Fitzwilliams added that while the issues of security and privacy “are always paramount when royals choose flights” the couple should choose commercial if this is a feasible option.
Harry was questioned for traveling by private jet on numerous occasions in 2019 after saying in an interview that he wanted to tackle climate change and “leave something better behind for the next generation.”
He responded to the criticism at the launch of Travalyst, an eco-friendly tourism initiative that he created in 2019. The prince said he spends “99% of my life travelling the world by commercial” and that he will only travel by private jet to ensure his family’s safety.
He added that he will always make sure to “balance out the impact” that he has on the environment when he travels.
And in November 2021, Harry and Meghan’s nonprofit, Archewell, announced its mission to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2030.