Prince Harry may have tried to mute the controversy surrounding his frequent use of private jets during his appearance in Amsterdam on Tuesday, but he only seems to have sparked even more backlash. During his appearance, the British Royal, who welcomed his first child with wife Meghan Markle back in May, claimed that despite being spotted boarding private jets multiple times in recent weeks, he nearly always flies commercial.
“I came here by commercial. I spend 99 percent of my life travelling the world by commercial,” he said during the appearance, PEOPLE reports. “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.”
Earlier in the day, he had stated that “we can all do better and while no one is perfect, we all have a responsibility for our own individual impact.”
His words, however, did little to smooth things over, and social media was at the ready with backlash.
“Prince Harry: When I fly by private jet, it's to keep my family safe,” one person wrote on Twitter. “Well lend me your jet so i can keep MY family safe, what a dumb comment by Harry.”
“So Prince Harry needs to keep his family safe by using private jets. What about the rest of us trying to keep our families safe from the pending climate catastrophe,” another slammed the Duke of Sussex.
“Prince Harry saying that he only flies private jet to ‘protect his family’ is RUBBISH,” a third voiced their opinion. “Prince William who will actually be KING one day doesn't even do that!! It's just an excuse to travel in luxury!”
The controversy surrounding Harry and Markle’s travels was prompted back in August after the couple boarded private jets four separate times within the span of just 11 days. Their environmentally unfriendly jet setting ways saw those online dubbing them hypocrites given Harry’s frequent addressing of climate change and environmentalism.
Although multiple sources had suggested that their use of private jets had come down to security issues given their spot in the public eye, others seemed to contradict that, none more so that Prince William and Kate Middleton themselves. In late August, the couple, along with their three children, were spotted aboard a budget airline.
At the time, royal author Robert Jobson said that the Cambridge’s travels “proves you can do it, there was no trouble on the flight, and if there was they have their protection officers….A lot of people are claiming the royals are costing too much at the moment, and William is putting his money where his mouth is by going budget.”
Despite the backlash, Harry is not the only member of the Royal Family whose travels are a cause for concern. A recent report showed that the Royal Family’s CO2 emissions rose 98 percent from 2018 to 2019, from 1,687 tons to 3,344 tons. Their greenhouse emissions also rose by three percent.