Prince Harry breaks silence on private jet travel with Meghan Markle: 'No one is perfect'

Prince Harry has recently come under fire for his use of private planes, while he advocates climate change and lowering carbon emissions.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle came under fire recently after a stint of back-to-back private jet flights, but the royal is determined to set the record straight.

The 34-year-old was in Amsterdam on Tuesday to launch Travalyst, a new global initiative striving to change the impact of travel in partnership with Booking.com, Ctrip, Skyscanner, Trip Advisor and Visa.

READ MORE: Who pays for the Royal Family’s lavish lifestyle?

While there, the new dad addressed his and his wife’s recent private flights to Ibiza and Nice, which reportedly created seven times the normal amount of carbon emissions.

Speaking to the audience, the royal said: “I came here by commercial. I spend 99 per cent of my life travelling the world by commercial. Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure my family are safe and it’s genuinely as simple as that.”

Prince Harry addressed an audience in Amsterdam regarding his new venture, Travalyst.

Prince Harry addressed an audience in Amsterdam regarding his new venture, Travalyst.

Koen Van Weel/CP

“As I said in my speech, it is about balance. If I have to do that, and it’s not a decision I would want to take, I would ensure, as I have done previously and I will continue to make sure I do, is balance. I have always offset my CO2,” he continued.

Earlier that day, the Duke of Sussex discussed the importance of sustainable travel while announcing the release of the green travel initiative.

READ MORE: B.C. bee company gets social media shout-out from Prince Harry and Meghan

“We could all do better. While no one is perfect, we all have a responsibility for our own individual impact,” he said. “The question is what we do to balance it out.”

Travalyst aims to help minimize companies’ environmental footprint, as well as protect and preserve local environments, welfare and cultural heritage, Booking.com’s chairwoman, Gillian Tans, said.

View this post on Instagram

We are excited to announce the launch of ‘Travalyst’, a global initiative striving to change the impact of tourism, for good. Partnering alongside key travel industry giants @Bookingcom, #Ctrip, @Skyscanner, @TripAdvisor and @Visa_US, our aim is to spark a movement to transform the future of travel, putting communities at the heart of the solution. We believe in the power and importance of travel. We also have a shared responsibility to our planet and to each other. • “I want to start with a little bit of background as to specifically why I’m here today, because as you may know, I am not a tourism or business expert, but through my travels I have observed the unique relationship between community and environment, and have noticed something alarming. There wasn’t the symbiosis or connection there needed to be and I wanted to understand why. I am one of those people fortunate enough to have a platform and I want to use it to tackle hard problems, in the hope of finding solutions…and that’s how Travalyst was born” – The Duke of Sussex The name #Travalyst comes from The Duke and partners viewing our role in sustainable travel as catalysts to accelerate positive changes in travel. Travel + catalyst = Travalyst #Travalyst aims to make travel more sustainable, to help protect destinations and benefit communities long into the future, and to enable consumers to make more environmental friendly choices whilst traveling. The Duke of Sussex, having invited the founding partners to start the conversation, believes that the organisations – with operations in nearly every country, hundreds of millions of customers that use their products every day, and business relationships around the world – have sufficient influence and the critical mass necessary to catalyse real system change in the travel industry, for the benefit of destinations, communities and ecosystems. To discover more about the new initiative, visit www.Travalyst.org

A post shared by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (@sussexroyal) on

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were first criticized after they flew in a 12-seater Cessna plane to the South of France to enjoy a summertime break at Elton John‘s home.

A week prior to that, the family of three celebrated her 38th birthday with a six-day trip in Ibiza.

John later took to Twitter in the couple’s defence, saying he’d provided the jet for safety reasons.

“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,” he wrote. “To maintain a high level of much-needed protection, we provided them with a private jet flight.”

The 72-year-old went on to say that he made sure the flight was carbon neutral, having made an appropriate contribution to Carbon Footprint, an online tool that helps calculate carbon footprint and how to offset it.

Prince Harry has been dedicated to environmental welfare for many years.

He’s been known to frequent Africa to bring awareness to rhino poaching, among other causes. One of his and Duchess Meghan’s first trips as a couple was to Botswana.

The couple will bring baby Archie on a royal tour to South Africa, and Prince Harry will make stops in Malawi, Angola and Botswana, places his late mom, Princess Diana, also famously visited.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

You May Also Like

Top Stories