Sir Elton John has defended the Duke and Duchess of Sussex over their use of private jets, revealing that he had paid for a flight for them and their son Archie to “maintain a high level of much-needed protection”.
The singer hit back at what he called “these relentless and untrue assassinations on their character”, after Prince Harry and Meghan faced mounting criticism for reportedly taking four private jet journeys in 11 days, rather than opting for commercial flights, despite speaking out on environmental issues. Buckingham Palace declined to comment.
John tweeted that he had made sure the flight was carbon neutral by making the “appropriate contribution” to a carbon footprint fund.
“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,” he said.
“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.
“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.”
He added: “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.”
The musician famously performed at the funeral of Harry’s late mother Diana in 1997, singing a specially reworked version of his song Candle In The Wind.
He was also among the celebrity guests invited to Harry and Meghan’s wedding in Windsor last year.
The Sussexes’ trip to Nice to stay in John’s home came after a reported holiday to Ibiza to mark the duchess’s 38th birthday earlier this month.
On Monday, Harry and Meghan posted a quote on their @sussexroyal Instagram account by Archbishop Desmond Tutu that read: “Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
The couple received many positive messages in response, but some were critical, saying: “Doing your bit of good for the environment this week …” and “Stop flying private jets!!!!”
The duke has been vocal about environmental damage to the planet. He said on Instagram last month: “Only now are we starting to notice and understand the damage that we’ve been causing.
“With nearly 7.7 billion people inhabiting this Earth, every choice, every footprint, every action makes a difference.”