Much like many of us, the royal family—including Prince Harry—is getting back to work after a lighter workload over the summer. Unlike you, however, for the Duke of Sussex that means addressing the private jet controversy he and wife Meghan Markle have been dealing with lately.
In case you missed this royal drama, here’s the gist: the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are outspoken (as royal standards go) on the subject of climate change and other environmental issues. So when they took trips on private jets this summer—including one that took them to Elton John’s home in France for a vacation with baby Archie—critics came at them over their carbon footprint and deemed the behavior hypocritical. This also caused many celebrities like John, Ellen Degeneres, and Pink to speak out about what they considered to be unfair treatment of the couple in the British press.
Today, Harry was in Amsterdam to launch a new travel initiative and addressed the situation.
“I came here by commercial. I spend 99% of my life traveling the world by commercial,” he said. “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.” He also added that he always offsets his CO2, which John stated he did for the royals’ trip to visit him.
So there you go. Harry says it was a safety issue, and who are we to question that? He also reminded everyone that he is only human, after all. “I’ve learned that we cannot dismiss the idea of trying to do something, just because we can’t do everything. We can all do better,” he said. “And, while no one is perfect, we are all responsible for our own individual impact; the question is what we do to balance it out.”
To that end, Harry was in Amsterdam to announce Travalyst (travel + catalyst) which is “global initiative striving to change the impact of travel, for good” with partners like Trip Advisor, Bookings.com, and Visa.
“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,” Harry said on the Sussex Royal Instagram. “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.”
Next up for the Sussex family is a royal tour in Africa starting September 23, where we will get to see how much little Archie has grown. We can’t wait.