Is the criticism of Harry and Meghan's private jet use unfair?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have come under fire for using private jets whilst campaigning on environmental issues.

But is the criticism they’re receiving unfair?

Harry found himself defending his and Meghan’s use of private jets when he launched an eco-tourism project with, Sky Scanner, TripAdvisor and Visa in Amsterdam, saying “we could all do better”.

Royal experts have pointed out that the couple aren’t the only members of the Royal Family to use private jets, and it’s understandable why they might want to.

Speaking to Yahoo UK’s ‘The Royal Box’, ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship says: “Let’s be clear, all members of the Royal Family use private jets, they all use helicopters... they have got to get around and they have got to get around safely as well.

“We don’t understand what it’s like being on a plane and people snapping you, taking pictures of you. “

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FRASER ISLAND, QUEENSLAND - OCTOBER 22:  (NO UK SALES FOR 28 DAYS) Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visit Kingfisher Bay Resort on October 22, 2018 in Fraser Island, Australia. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are on their official 16-day Autumn tour visiting cities in Australia, Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.  (Photo by Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
Meghan and Harry have come under fire for campaigning for more sustainable travel while using private jets for their own jaunts (Picture: Pool/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

Harry and Meghan’s first initiative for the Sussex Foundation was launched amid criticism that they had used four private jets in just 11 days, including reportedly using Sir Elton John’s jet to fly to his home in the south of France.

Their jetsetting had been compared by critics to William and Kate’s use of a commercial flight for their holiday to Scotland.

But Ship says it’s a case of bad timing, rather than them doing anything worse than other members of the Royal family when it comes to their travel habits.

“There was all that environmental activism around Vogue magazine, previously he gave the speech at the WE day saying every blade of grass, every drop of water counts,” he says.

“Then they’re on a private jet and suddenly it looks like they’re being hypocritical or they’re not following through.”

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Britain's Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, his wife Princess Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Charlotte board their plane in Hamburg Finkenwerder, Germany, July 21, 2017.    REUTERS/Christian Charisius/POOL
ITV News Royal Editor Chris Ship pointed out that all members of the Royal family use private jets. (Picture: REUTERS/Christian Charisius/POOL)

While it may fly in the face of their environmental campaigning, Ship says it’s understandable why the couple might not want to face commercial flights on some occasions.

He describes how on a trip to Morocco, security teams for the Royal couple had to physically push people back to stop them from taking photographs.

“What do the Royals have their holiday for? To get away from it, to get away from the cameras and the people and the pressure. So you can almost see why if Elton John said, ‘here, do you want to use my jet and go down to my house’, I would say yes.”

That issue of security becomes even more important when you add baby Archie into the mix, adds Royal commentator Victoria Arbiter.

“They know the value of a photograph of Archie - if a member of the public snaps that and suddenly it’s on the front page of one of the tabloids. So you can see why they went with it.”

It’s an issue Harry highlighted during his speech in Amsterdam, pointing out that when he flies privately it’s to ensure his family’s safety.

After flying to the city on a commercial flight to make the speech, he said: “While no one is perfect, we all have a responsibility for our own individual impact.”