Prince Harry and Meghan Markle may be forced to spend increasing amounts of time overseas amid heightened scrutiny from the British public and press.
The shock claims come from royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams after the couple were enveloped in scandal this week for using four private jets in just 11 days.
And while the backlash towards to the duke and duchess is far from their first PR misstep, it has gained global traction due to their apparent status as eco warriors.
Taking royal duties abroad
According to Mr Fitzwilliams, the jet scandal may be the final straw for the couple who are already slated to take their royal duties to Southern Africa later this year.
“This is an extraordinary public relations debacle,” he told The Express.
“I suspect it will influence planning for Harry and Meghan to spend more time and take on more responsibilities abroad.”
The commenter went on to acknowledge Brits’ initial warmth for the Sussexes before their wedding last May, a mood which turned with the couple’s demand for privacy heightened.
“Resentment over the handling of Archie’s birth and particularly the ‘private’ christening, arguments over who and what was ‘private’ and ‘public’ including a ridiculous incident at Wimbledon and a series of speeches and the highly controversial guest editing of Vogue by Meghan have led to this, with Harry being considered ‘woke’,” he explained.
“If you are perceived not to practise what you preach you are criticised as they have been for taking private jets even if omissions are offset.”
Although it remains to be seen just how the pair will handle their public perception in the long-term, both have returned to royal duties without fanfare after celeb pals came to their defence online.
First Elton John revealed he lent the Sussexes and baby Archie his private jet to visit his home in Nice, France - before claiming to offset the craft’s carbon emissions.
Meghan’s Toronto-based best friend Jessica Mulroney then took to Instagram to slam the former Suits star’s critics, calling them ‘racist bullies’.
“When someone faces unfair criticism, you call it out. When that person is your friend and your family, you call those critics what they truly are. Shame on you, you racist bullies,” she wrote.
Royals returning to Africa
Amid the scandal, Meghan and Harry are likely to be looking forward to their second tour of Africa, a continent which holds a special place in both royals’ hearts.
The couple famously enjoyed five-night camping trip to Botswana’s plains after just two dates, with the stay acting as a backdrop to where they first fell in love.
Meghan’s engagement ring’s main diamond was sourced from Botswana when Harry popped the question just 18 months later.
Years before this, Harry spent a gap year in in Lesotho in 2004, while Meghan journeyed to Rwanda in 2016 as part of a trip with World Vision.
The prince also once credited the continent with allowing him to feel ‘more like myself than anywhere else in the world’.
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