Prince Harry and Meghan Took a Private Jet From an Event About Climate Action

It’s really not a good look!

Harry & Meghan
(Image credit: Getty/WPA Pool)

We’ve already discussed why Prince Harry should opt to start flying commercial rather than continuing to jet-set in private planes, but apparently it bears repeating. That’s because Prince Harry and Meghan Markle left their whirlwind NYC jaunt on a private plane, mere hours after they appeared onstage at the Global Citizen Live event, which promoted, in part, cutting U.S. emissions in half by 2030. Ugh.

What also doesn’t help the optics? The fact that Harry was called out just last month for taking private jets to and from a polo tournament, which is hardly a really great reason to excuse the behavior. Though it can’t be worse than when the couple attended the Google climate summit in 2019 and reportedly opted to fly private and stay in a gas-guzzling yacht while there. At. A. Climate. Summit.

Look, rich people gonna rich. And given the threats and scrutiny Prince Harry and Meghan Markle come under, you can kind of understand why they want to make their whereabouts hard to track, especially while traveling. They're also held to an enormously high standard, higher even than some of their other royal family counterparts—remember when Meghan got called out by tabloids for cradling her baby bump, only a few years after Kate Middleton was praised for doing the same exact thing?

But surely flying a private jet from New York City to Southern California—a single flight which, according to Blue Sky Model, emitted about 65 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere—isn’t the only way to protect themselves. The fact that Harry and Meghan insist on flying private feels worse because they want to be seen, first and foremost, as advocates for change. Their purported reason for moving to the U.S. and stepping away from their royal duties in the first place was to spend more time on the causes they care about—the Archewell website even has as its slogan, “Shared Purpose, Global Action.” And climate action is one of the topics that they've brought up again and again.

That’s why, when they call for global change and then refuse to reflect those same changes in their own lives—probably the easiest place for them to create change, if you think about it!—it makes their message feel hollow and hypocritical. Like, you want us plebs to cut our emissions without applying it to yourselves? By virtue of Harry’s birth, they have one of the biggest platforms of any couple alive. That’s a huge amount of responsibility, and it’s great they want to use it to create a better world. But what good is calling for change when they undercut their message through their very actions?

So stop it with the private jets, Harry and Meghan. It’d be a lot cooler if you did.

Cady Drell

Cady Drell is a writer, editor, researcher and pet enthusiast from Brooklyn.