Sir Elton John has taken to Instagram to defend the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after they travelled by private jet to stay at his $27 million villa in Nice last week.
In the post, which included a photo of the couple on their royal tour down under last year, the 72-year-old British singer blasted the “distorted and malicious” comments about their less than eco friendly jet set lifestyle.
He also stated that their most recent flight - which reportedly would have emitted seven times more carbon dioxide per passenger than a commercial flight - was actually “carbon neutral”.
Protecting the Prince
“I am deeply distressed by today’s distorted and malicious account in the press surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s private stay at my home in Nice last week,” the music legend wrote.
He went on to mention his strong friendship with the late princess Diana, and the obligation he feels to “protect” her youngest son and his family.
“Prince Harry’s Mother, Diana Princess Of Wales was one of my dearest friends. I feel a profound sense of obligation to protect Harry and his family from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana’s untimely death.
Elton explained that he and his partner, David Furnish, had offered up their luxury villa, Castel Mont-Alban - which boasts spectacular views of the Cote d'Azur - to Harry, Meghan and their three-month-old son, Archie Harrison, for some rest and relaxation after a “hectic year”.
“After a hectic year continuing their hard work and dedication to charity, David and I wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquility of our home. To maintain a high level of much-needed protection, we provided them with a private jet flight. To support Prince Harry’s commitment to the environment, we ensured their flight was carbon neutral, by making the appropriate contribution to Carbon Footprint™.
The Oscar-winner concluded his caption by demanding and end to the “relentless and untrue assassinations” on the young family.
“I highly respect and applaud both Harry and Meghan’s commitment to charity and I’m calling on the press to cease these relentless and untrue assassinations on their character that are spuriously crafted on an almost daily basis.”
Harry, 34, and Meghan, 38, and baby Archie, were pictured aboard a private jet at Nice airport on Saturday, clocking up their fourth flight in 11 days, according to Mail Online.
The Duchess was photographed wearing a white blouse and Panama hat as she carried her son down the steps of the 12-seater Cessna Citation Sovereign, while Harry donned a cap and sunglasses.
It’s believed they spent around four days in France, before returning home on the jet, operated by private aviation company NetJets, known as 'the Uber for billionaires.'
Each aircraft offers in-flight fine dining, entertainment, grooming products and WiFi.
It comes after the Spanish press reported that the Sussexes had spent six days in Ibiza at the beginning of the month to celebrate Meghan’s 38th birthday - a round-trip via private jet that is said to have cost $36,000.
Two days after returning to the UK, the couple boarded another jet to Nice on 14 August, reported The Sun.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Prince Harry travelled to the Google summit in Sicily by private jet, where he gave a speech about climate change, while barefoot.
It’s been claimed that flying by private jet would have emitted seven times more carbon dioxide per passenger than a commercial flight, however NetJets introduced a mandatory carbon offset program in 2007 for all its customers, which added $8,000 to a customer’s yearly contract.
Harry and Meghan have also been vocal about environmental issues with the causes they support, leaving them “open to charges of hypocrisy” according to royal commentator Phil Dampier.
Elton and Diana
Elton was a close friend of Harry’s late mother Princess Diana, who he met when he performed at Prince Andrew's 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle in 1981.
At Diana’s funeral in 1997, he performed “Candle In The Wind” in tribute to the Princess, and has remained close to her sons William and Harry.
Sir Elton and husband David Furnish attended Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding in 2011, and Harry and Meghan’s nuptials in May 2018.
Additional reporting by Danielle Stacey.
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