An Instagram post by Prince Harry and Meghan urging their followers to do ‘little bits of good’ has been called hypocritical.
The post was made as criticism grows about their four recent private jet journeys despite being vocal on environmental issues. A number of celebrities have backed the royal couple with singer Pink asking people to be ‘a little kinder.’
However, the timing of the post has angered several people saying the Duke and Duchess of Sussex need to ‘practise what they preach.’ At the weekend, it emerged the royals had taken four private planes in the space of just 11 days.
One of those saw Prince Harry fly to Camp Google in Sicily, where he gave a speech about climate change to a group of celebrities. The others were a family holiday to Ibiza to mark Meghan’s 38th birthday and a trip to Sir Elton John’s hideaway in the south of France. Private jets produce an estimated seven times the carbon dioxide emissions per person as a commercial flight. On Monday, the sixth-in-line to the throne and Meghan posted a quote by Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Instagram, urging their followers to overwhelm the world with ‘little bits’ of good. It read: ‘Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.’
Within minutes, disgruntled followers took to social media to berate the couple. One wrote: ‘How about you do your little bit of good and stop taking flights on private jets?’ Another said: ‘How about less gas guzzling air travel!’ While one poster said: ‘Do as I say, not as I do. What a joke. Who would take these two seriously?’ Another user accused the pair of attempting to ‘have their cake and eat it’ while one suggested they should fly commercial with the taxpayers who ‘fund their lifestyle.’
The pair were accused of ‘leaving themselves wide open to criticism’ with the Instagram post, which was made on World Humanitarian Day.
Photos emerged of Prince Harry, Meghan and three-month-old Archie stepping on board a Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign jet on Saturday. The pair had been near Nice, France, staying with Sir Elton John and his husband David Furnish at their palatial £15 million home. The singer said he had provided the royals with the private flight to ‘maintain a high level of much-needed protection.’ He added: ‘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. ‘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 tranquility 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.’
Social media users pointed out that instead of paying to offset their carbon emissions, they could have not made them in the first place. Their journeys come after Prince Harry told conservation expert Dr Jane Goodall that he and Meghan planned to limit the size of their family for environmental reasons. Last month, the couple took to Instagram to tell their 9.3 million followers: ‘With nearly 7.7 billion people inhabiting this Earth, every choice, every footprint, every action makes a difference.’
Singer Pink supported the royal couple on Twitter, saying they were being bullied in the row over private jets. She tweeted: ‘I’m happy to see people coming to the defence of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. ‘The way people treat her is the most public form of bullying I have seen in a while. ‘It’s out of control. ‘Let’s all be a bit kinder, huh? Let’s show our children that it’s cool to be kind.’