The couple flew to Nice to stay at Elton John's home with the musician speaking out about their trip after public backlash over the royals using a private jet. After images of Harry and Meghan surfaced leaving plane, which costs $40,000 to rent, some were quick to point out that flying private contradicts the couple's environmental work.
"Given the position they have taken publicly about being responsible on climate change, this does seem an anomaly which they should look at," Labour MP Teresa Pearce said on Saturday night (per The Sun). “It’s up to all of us to cut our carbon emissions, and the number of flights we take a year," she continued. "That is really important — and someone as high profile as that should lead by example.
Following the reports, Elton John released a lengthy statement on social media, revealing that he and his partner David had paid for the jet so the family of three could travel with maximum protection. "I am deeply distressed by today’s distorted and malicious account in the press surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s private stay at my home in Nice last week," the musician wrote on Instagram.
"Prince Harry’s Mother, Diana Princess Of Wales was one of my dearest friends. I feel a profound sense of obligation to protect Harry and his family from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana’s untimely death," he continued. "After a hectic year continuing their hard work and dedication to charity, David and I wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquillity of our home. To maintain a high level of much-needed protection, we provided them with a private jet flight. To support Prince Harry’s commitment to the environment, we ensured their flight was carbon neutral, by making the appropriate contribution to Carbon Footprint™"
He finished, "I highly respect and applaud both Harry and Meghan’s commitment to charity and I’m calling on the press to cease these relentless and untrue assassinations on their character that are spuriously crafted on an almost daily basis."
Recently, Prince Harry interviewed conservationist Jane Goodall for British Vogue, revealing that he and Meghan plan on only having two children because of their environmental footprint and climate change.
“What we need to remind everybody is: these are things that are happening now. We are already living in it," Harry said. We are the frog in the water and it’s already been brought to the boil. Which is terrifying.”
The royal couple's recent European getaways come ahead of their scheduled Royal Tour of South Africa this spring, before which they will likely spend time with the Queen in Balmoral, an annual summer tradition of the family's.
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This article originally appeared on marie claire Australia