Spare us Prince Harry’s royal hypocrisy

The green prince sees no contradiction in being a jetsetting environmentalist.

Ben Pile


Oh, how easily Prince Harry leaps from the private jets and super-yachts, loaned to him by his celebrity pals, to the eco-lectern.

In the summer, the green prince and his wife announced that they would avoid adding to the world’s carbon footprint by having no more than two babies. After that, they went on an epic carbon-spewing tour, taking four private-jet journeys in 11 days, including to a Google summit to deliver a lecture on climate change. Harry’s latest flight took him to Amsterdam, where he launched Travalyst, a new environmental initiative. Its aim is to promote sustainable tourism and to encourage passengers and tourists to think about the impact they are having on the environment.

Harry tried to address the charge of royal hypocrisy in his Amsterdam press conference. ‘We can all do better… no one is perfect’, he said. The prince also said that he has flown by commercial flight for ‘99 per cent of his life’, and whenever he flies he ‘offsets’ his CO2 impact. ‘We need to make it cool’ to offset, he said. In other words, his emissions are okay because he has paid an indulgence to cancel them out.

New environmentalist Michael Shellenberger has perhaps the most insightful offering on the almost surreal contradiction between Harry’s words and actions. ‘Hypocrisy is the ultimate power move’, he writes. ‘It is a way of demonstrating that one plays by a different set of rules from the ones adhered to by common people. Hypocrisy is how unaccountable one is to conventional morality.’

That is surely the case with Harry and Meghan. This is most clearly illustrated by the ridiculous defences of their carbon-spewing lifestyles offered by their celebrity chums. Ellen DeGeneres and Elton John led a chorus of special pleading on the couple’s behalf. DeGeneres described the royal couple, sixth in line to the throne, as ‘down to earth’. We shouldn’t attack their hypocrisy because all they are doing is trying to ‘make the world a better place’, she tweeted. Elton John, who lent the royal couple his private jet to fly to the south of France, tweeted that ‘David and I wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquillity of our home’.

But isn’t that what we all want, Reg – some peace and tranquillity, to be able to enjoy our lives without being lectured to by vapid celebrity moralisers? The problem is that while we might be able to turn off the TV when has-been pop stars start to annoy us, none of us can escape the environmental orthodoxy that increasingly dominates the public sphere and our lives. ‘Do as we say, not as we do’ is its leitmotif. ‘Our jet-setting is saving the planet’, the Great and the Good will never tire of telling us, while ordinary people’s package holidays are destroying it.

What this royal hypocrisy tells us is that elite environmentalism is less about saving the planet than about telling people to know their place. No wonder the royal family are at the forefront of it all.

Ben Pile blogs at Climate Resistance.

Picture by: Getty.

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Patiently Waiting

2nd October 2019 at 5:18 pm

MM-HH are desperate to attempt to hide who they really are: Greedy; Luxury-Hungry; Selfish; Fame-Seeking…and worse, jealous of William and Kate. Since HH married MM, they have been on a quest to destroy his brother and sister-and-law; because MM wants to be Queen. Logically, they know that the succession will not permit it to occur– but MM imagines herself Queen of the World, and HH is feeding her fantasy, because she manipulates him via playing the Diana-card. Now, they are exploiting the Race-Card: Today, I notice that her fans and/or paid shills are out-in-force condemning critics of MM-HH as being racist. None of us can hide who we are forever: MM-HH are repugnant.

brent mckeon

9th September 2019 at 6:56 am

A good quote I recently heard: i will get serious about global warming/climate change when those seriously mouthing it get serious with regard to their actions.

Joe King

5th September 2019 at 2:34 am

Harry, absent a strong masculine father figure has grown to be a typical beta.
He should have married a young, chaste, modest English girl 10 years ago and immediately set out pumping out babies but instead married an older used up American divorcee who will give him at best 2 kids before her eggs dry up or she succumbs to the SJW fetish of small families.
Absent someone to box his ears, he’s become just another celebrity fool.

Mark Lambert

4th September 2019 at 7:36 pm

Where is the “eat more cake because we offset eating roast pheasant by eating a few cakes” bit?

What a fool he has become.

Dominic Straiton

4th September 2019 at 5:29 pm

I could not give a crap about my “foot print” because as a heretic im with Dr Patrick Moore (ex green peace) and hilariously Piers Corbyn. Like past heretics I reject indulgences.

harry briggs

4th September 2019 at 1:06 pm

Is it reasonable to expect people who campaign about climate change not to travel by air?, should they do a Greta and constantly sail around the world instead?, it is only hypocrisy to climate change sceptics.

Eric Praline

4th September 2019 at 5:38 pm

They keep telling us it’s a catastrophic emergency so surely they should be doing every little thing they can?

T Hauxwell

4th September 2019 at 12:02 pm

I notice his mea culpa came only after his older brother – who surely requires a greater level of privacy and security than Harry does – very publicly took his family on holiday on a budget airline.

John Burwood

4th September 2019 at 5:57 pm

The William and Kate are definitely out playing Harry and Meghan on the PR front.

Jerry Owen

4th September 2019 at 12:01 pm

I’m flying abroad soon.
I wish to announce that to offset my carbon footprint I’ll be planting a few acorns off my oak tree, I will of course dig them up later when they start to grow!

Michael Lynch

4th September 2019 at 10:27 am

Poor old Harry. A normal bloke one minute doing great work for his fellow comrades and a SJW the next, blundering through one bad decision after the other. He’s not the first to be led around by the nose by a pretty girl and he won’t be the last. I can fully understand why he’s bonkers about Megan, she’s stunning and probably very sweet, but she’s an American at the end of the day and they always equate wealth with class. Being classy is something that has to be earned and crafted over many years. Harry earned his by serving his country and then doing brilliant work for injured service men and women. I hope she starts to cop on to responsibilities that come with being a royal soon because the criticism won’t stop till she does.

Warren Alexander

4th September 2019 at 8:46 am

I heartily approve of Harry and Meghan Windsor’s “hypocrisy”. Clearly, Harry is a closet republican and is doing his best to demonstrate why we need to end the monarchy.

eli Bastenbury

4th September 2019 at 10:01 am

I see what you did there, nice.

Margaret Potter

4th September 2019 at 4:01 am

Give Meghan enough rope and she will bring the Royals down with her egocentric celebratory virtue signalling. Queen needs to reign them in or cut them lose from tax payers purse

Jane 70

4th September 2019 at 6:23 am

Apparently, H&M are now involved in a sustainable travel initiative, and HRH says ‘we can all do better’.
Perhaps Meghan could make a start with a sustainable wardrobe.

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