Anger at Prince over private jet ‘hypocrisy’

Prince under pressure: Harry launched Travalyst, a green travel project, amid anger over his use of private jets.

Is the criticism fair? Some in the media are angry with Prince Harry for “preaching” about the dangers of the climate crisis, while enjoying a jet-setting, celebrity lifestyle.

What’s happening

“Prince Harry preaching about the environment again. He can do this, or be a constant private-jet-setting celebrity. Not both,” sniped broadcaster Piers Morgan.

The Prince has been accused of hypocrisy for launching a green travel project, Travalyst, weeks after he was criticised for using private jets.

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Private jets have a big carbon footprint. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, took four private jet flights in 11 days for family holidays with their son Archie.

The carbon produced by these flights added up to almost 20 tons, which is three times the annual footprint of the average Briton.

Harry insisted that he takes commercial flights 99% of the time but must, occasionally, use jets “to ensure that [his] family is safe”. Pop star Elton John defended Harry and Meghan, pointing out that they offset their carbon footprint by funding renewable energy.

However, in The Daily Mail yesterday, Richard Kay accused Harry of “loftily” preaching about the climate crisis from “the pulpit”, while enjoying a jet-setting, celebrity lifestyle.

Is the criticism fair?

Some say…

It is one rule for him and one rule for us. If the Prince insists on speaking out on the climate crisis, he must live by his principles. It is not good enough to “off-set” his footprint by throwing some money at green causes. Harry is trying to straddle the line that divides flashy celebrity from the sober, royal life of public duty — and he is failing.

Others think…

He is in an impossible position. The press is enraged that he is trying to have a private life, and seems desperate to attack Meghan at any opportunity. There is no blueprint for a young, modern royal trying to connect with the public and drive positive change. If he were silent and stuffy, he’d still face criticism . He is damned either way.

You Decide

  1. What qualities should members of the royal family have?

Activities

  1. Think of three changes you could make in your life to help the environment.

Some People Say...

“You can’t live on this planet without being a hypocrite.”

Paul Watson, Canadian environmental activist

What do you think?

Word Watch

Hypocrisy
When someone claims to have certain beliefs, but their actions go against them.
Carbon footprint
The amount of carbon dioxide that a person releases into the atmosphere through their activities.
Renewable energy
Energy created from a source that will not run out, like solar or wind power.
Loftily
Done in an arrogant way.
Pulpit
Where a preacher stands in a church to give a sermon.
Sober
In this case, serious and sensible.
Blueprint
A plan or a design to show how something is done.

Subjects

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