The Montecito-based couple reportedly flew in a Gulfstream jet with pals Cameron Diaz and her husband Benji Madden, and actress Zoe Saldana to see Katy Perry's final show of her Las Vegas residency at Resorts World Theatre. Also said to be aboard the 40-minute flight from Santa Barbara were Hollywood producer David Katzenberg, and billionaire and Bumble dating app founder Whitney Wolfe Herd, and her husband, oil heir Michael Herd.
The Gulfstream jet the couple apparently flew on is co-owned by the oil heir and reportedly emits an estimated two tons of carbon dioxide an hour. When asked about the criticisms lobbed at Harry and Meghan for taking a private jet, the oil heir said: “I don’t have any comment, I’m not them.”
Critics slammed the couple for supposedly flying via private jet while encouraging the public to work on lowering their carbon emissions. Talk TV host Kevin O’Sullivan joked, “Saving the planet one Katy Perry concert at a time!”
“He set up this Travalyst charity which was all about not using private planes,” royal biographer Angela Levin told the Sun. “He’s still their patron. I think he should get the sack.”
She continued, “They think they have gotten so grand, they wouldn’t dream of taking a normal flight. They’ve got all these rich friends to pay for it. It’s worse than ‘do as I say, not as I do’ because he’s a patron of a charity.”
The couple’s reported use of a private jet would stand in contrast to their public efforts to combat the impact of travel on climate change. Harry helped launch Travalyst in 2019 to create a “bold global initiative with the ambition to change the impact of travel, for good.”
Last year, the Duke of Sussex also warned the United Nations about the growing perils of climate change. In an impassioned speech he said: “Our world is on fire again. And these historic weather events are no longer historic. More and more, they are part of our daily lives, and this crisis will only grow worse.”
While critics may be quick to call out the royal for hypocrisy, the Duke has said in the past that he likely will not stop flying private planes any time soon. He said that ninety-nine percent of the time he flies commercially, but added there are “unique circumstances” in which he feels he has to fly private to ensure the safety of his family.
He explained in 2019: “Occasionally, there needs to be an opportunity [to fly on private planes] based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe – it’s as simple as that.”
“For me, it’s about balance. It’s not a decision I would want to take, but if I have to do that, I will ensure that I balance out the impact that I have,” he added.
The Independent has contacted Harry and Meghan for comment.
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