Elton John broke the silence over reports of Meghan and Prince Harry getting on a private jet four times in 11 days, writing he is “deeply distressed” by the criticism they have received. In a series of tweets and a post on Instagram, the Rocketman star revealed he has been the one lending the Duke and Duchess of Sussex his private jet to make sure they enjoyed a short break in complete privacy. However, former royal correspondent Michael Cole claimed Meghan and Harry need to “stay clear” of the controversy and “pay their own way”. Mr Cole told Good Morning Britain: “It’s a major error from a public relations point of view. The thing is when people extend huge favours to members of the Royal Family, members of the Royal Family if they didn’t believe that those favours have to be repaid.
“People want something back. They want the boost of their ego for their association with the royal personages, but later down the road who knows what they might want in return for the favour extended. Major error.
“Before they were married Harry and Meghan went on a trip and they were in economy and they sat at the back of the plane near the lavatories. Good PR brownie points for that, like the rest of us. But this is a major mistake.”
ITV host Ranvir Singh remarked: “I doubt Elton John needs any favours from Harry, he’s sort of rock royalty in his own right. I suspect it’s because he felt paternal towards them.”
Presenter Richard Bacon added: “I don’t know about the other private jets but in this particular case they were staying at Elton John’s place in Nice, he was very close to Harry’s mother and he felt a degree of protection towards them.
“You get that offer, ‘do you want to use my private jet’, you are probably going to say yes.”
Meghan Markle news: Elton John spoke out against the criticism Meghan and Harry have been receiving
Meghan Markle news: Michael Cole advised the couple to “stay clear” of the controversy
The former royal correspondent replied: “Yes well that’s a big mistake. Royalty should be above that, not take favours from rich people.
“It doesn’t matter how rich they are, how privileged they are or what their past history is, that puts you in a position of being in obligation to them. Major error.
“If I was advising them I would say stay clear of this, pay your own way and look the world in the eye.”
Elton said he helped the couple because he feels a “profound sense of obligation” to protect Prince Harry, the youngest son of his dear friend, late Princess Diana.
The singer wrote on Twitter: “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.
Meghan Markle news: Harry and Meghan were criticised after using 4 private jets in 11 days
“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. “To support Prince Harry’s commitment to the environment, we ensured their flight was carbon neutral, by making the appropriate contribution to Carbon Footprint™.
“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. Elton.”
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Meghan and Prince Harry have been harshly criticised by commentators and members of the public after it came to light that, within 11 days, they travelled four times using a private jet.
The couple first took their firstborn, little Archie Harrison Mountbatten Windsor, to Ibiza, Spain, on August 6, a six-day break taken by the family to celebrate Meghan’s 38th birthday. They are believed to have stayed at a lavish resort where a week-long stay can cost as much as £20,000.
The Vista Alegre, a beautiful resort facing the sea, often hosts A-listers and music celebrities, including Sir Paul McCartney and DJ David Guetta, according to The Sun.
Following their Spanish holidays, the family-of-three was spotted on Wednesday as they were leaving a private jet landed in Nice. Just before they were entering the car which drove them to destination, photographers spotted Meghan wearing a large hat and a white blazer carrying little Archie, followed by Prince Harry wearing a casual outfit completed with a cap.
They remained in France for three days, and they were spotted boarding once again a private jet on Saturday to return to the UK. The criticism over Meghan and Harry’s use of private jets come after the couple have become very outspoken about environmental issues within the past few months.
In July, they focused their social media campaign on the environment, following on Instagram only accounts of charities, people and associations fighting to tackle private change and raise awareness on its consequences.
Prince Harry is also believed to have delivered a speech at the end of July at Google Camp, an annual gathering taking place in Sicily where the guests discuss a series of topics, including the environment.