Prince Harry Finally Breaks His Silence On Private Jet Controversy
By Emily Lee
September 3, 2019
After ongoing backlash about his use of four private jets this summer, Prince Harry has finally spoken out and explained his side of the story. In a speech announcing the first Sussex Royal Foundation project, which is, coincidentally, a sustainable travel initiative, the Duke of Sussex defended his decision to fly private with his wife, Meghan Markle, and their infant son, Archie Mountbatten-Windsor.
For those who have managed to avoid Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's latest controversy, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex went on two personal family trips this summer. For both trips, one to Ibiza and one to the south of France, they traveled via private jet. Both Meghan and Harry have spoken out about wanting to protect the environment, so, many of their critics found their actions hypocritical.
Though the royal family often doesn't publicly address any media scandals, Harry took the time to speak about this one at the launch of Travalyst. “I came here by commercial," he said during his speech in Amsterdam. "I spend 99% of my life traveling 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. But as I said in my speech, for me it's about balance."
“We can all do better and while no one is perfect, we all have a responsibility for our own individual impact,” Harry said at the launch. “The question is what we do to balance it out.” The Duke also added that he "always offsets my CO2," which Elton John confirmed while defending the prince last week, simply because it's "the right thing to do" when traveling via private jet.
Meghan and Harry announced Travalyst on Tuesday (September 2nd). Their new project "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 royals wrote on their Instagram post about Travalyst. The Duke and Duchess then added Travalyst will "catalyze real system change in the travel industry, for the benefit of destinations, communities and ecosystems." You can read more about Travalyst here:
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We are excited to announce the launch of ‘Travalyst’, a global initiative striving to change the impact of travel, 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
What do you think of Harry's response to the backlash?