Prince Harry received flak on social media after reports claimed he took a private jet home following his charity polo match last week.
On Thursday, the Duke of Sussex made his first public appearance since his daughter Lili's arrival when he took part in a polo match benefiting his charity Sentebale in Aspen, Colorado. However, hours later, Prince Harry hopped on board what is believed to be his millionaire friend Marc Ganzi’s $60 million Gulfstream jet to head home to Santa Barbara, California, the New York Post reported.
Daily Mail published photos of the said jet touching down in Santa Barbara, but Prince Harry was not clearly visible in the images. The outlet estimated that the two-hour flight "could have emitted as much as 10 tons of [carbon dioxide]" into the atmosphere. The duke's representatives have not yet responded to requests for comment.
"You couldn’t make it up! Fake eco-warrior Prince Harry takes yet another private jet flight - this time to go to a posh polo match," British journalist and broadcaster Dan Wootton wrote on Twitter. "Just remember this is a bloke hectoring us all about air travel. Given his actions, he should be roundly ignored."
A number of Twitter users sided with Wootton. One user claimed that Prince Harry and his "fake wokeness about the environment" only show that wealthy celebrities should not be the spokesperson for ecological movement because they allegedly "love their privileges" more and won't give them up.
"These fake climate change champions want you to do as they say, not as they do," a second user wrote, adding, "Jog on."
Another person called out "celebrity hypocrites," while a fourth user suggested that in the case of Prince Harry and Markle, it's "do as I say, not as I do."
Others rushed to Prince Harry's defense, pointing out that the polo tournament he participated in had raised millions for the charity, which supports "vulnerable children and young people in Southern Africa who are impacted by extreme poverty, inequality and the HIV/AIDS epidemic."
"That posh polo match helped raise [$3.5 million] for children with AIDS, but you're not interested in that, are you? You need to take your own advice and ignore him," one person commented.
Some also called out Wootton and others for not commenting on Prince Charles and Prince William's private jet and private train travel despite being outspoken environmental activists as well. A third user noted that Prince Harry and Markle were not the worst when it comes to using private jets, citing a Royal Travel Index report from the Independent showing that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also take private jets for the majority of their trips.
"Can't be ignored. [Prince Harry] raised [$3.5 million] for charity. Does more work than the working royals who travel more on private helicopters with no work to show for it. Stop hating and send a donation to some charity," another wrote.
This is not the first time Prince Harry was criticized for flying private. In 2019, he and Markle were branded hypocrites by environmental campaigners for using private jets during their trips to Ibiza, Spain, and Nice, France, CNN reported.
"You can’t lecture us and the rest of the world on climate change when you are taking private planes everywhere," royal commentator and English journalist Carole Malone said.
Aviation is one of the world's major polluters and is responsible for more than 2% of global emissions, according to the European Union. The environmental footprint of a private jet is also much greater than that of a commercial plane.
In May, Prince Harry warned that mental health and climate change were "the two most pressing issues" society is facing.
"With kids growing up in today's world, pretty depressing, right, depending on where you live, your home country is either on fire, it's either underwater, houses or forests are being flattened," he told Oprah Winfrey on Apple TV+.
Source: International Business Times