Britain’s Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle are famous climate change advocates but recently pop icon Elton John had to come to their defense over their habitual use of private jets to fly around the world on vacation.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex recently took heat for flying off to vacation at singer Elton John’s $18 million mansion in Nice, France, on the French Rivera, even though they both regularly speak about climate change. Worse for the critical activists, it was the couple’s fourth private jet flight in only 11 days.
But, on Monday, Sir Elton spoke up for the royal couple saying that he not only paid for the flights out of his own pocket, but he also claims to have made a “carbon neutral” donation to paper over the trip, according to the Daily Mail.
The “Rocketman” singer insisted that when he arranged for the pair to visit his home, he also made sure to donate money to an “appropriate” carbon footprint fund.
In his remarks, Elton John said he is “deeply distressed” over the “distorted and malicious” attacks on Harry and Markle, and he feels the need to defend them “from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana’s untimely death,” TMZ reported.
John insisted that he offered the couple a short vacation stay at his mansion because they have had a “hectic” year. He also wanted to reward them for their work for charity.
The singer pleaded with the couple’s detractors to “cease these relentless and untrue assassinations on their character that are spuriously crafted on an almost daily basis.”
But critics pounced. The couple had only just returned from a trip to the Spanish island Ibiza — where villas rent for up to $23,000 a week — to celebrate Markle’s 38th birthday. Critics also pointed out that the private jet trip to Nice sports a more than $23,000 price tag and that the pair could have flown commercial 200 times for that cost.
In addition, the private jet flight to and from Ibiza would create 12.5 tons of carbon dioxide per person, an amount of pollution that would take 14 commercial flights to emit, according to activists.
Buckingham Palace has refused to comment on the trips, or the costs involved.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.