Prince Harry Accused of Being ‘Preachy and Detached’: Will He Lose His ‘Prince of the People’ Image?

Prince Harry’s popularity may be on the decline, as people are finding him less warm and lovely and more “preachy and detached” recently. What’s changed the public’s perception of him and is there a way for him to improve his image? Royal experts weighed in on the matter, with the most recent criticism of Harry and Meghan Markle taking private jets fueling the negative perception.

Prince Harry Meghan Markle hypocrites
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

Prince Harry and Markle get slammed for being ‘hypocritical’

The couple often speaks out about environmental issues but their recent mode of transportation, taking gas-guzzling planes, was not well received, with many critics calling them hypocrites.

Royal commentator Duncan Larcombe told Yahoo’s Royal Box that he thinks that Prince Harry has forgotten where he came from, explaining: “People might say it’s the newspapers giving Harry and Meghan a hard time. And actually I think, to some extent in terms of columnists and commentators yes, there is some truth in that.”

He continued: “But he’s going to an environmental conference in a private plane, getting a private helicopter and then staying on a superyacht off the shore. But then delivering his speech in bare feet, so that’s great, that’s less plastic in the world.”

Larcombe believes that these contradictory actions aren’t sitting well with the public, as he noted, “People aren’t stupid, come on Harry. He’s got detached from where he came from. He was a people’s prince, he’s now become some hypocritical, preachy, detached slightly confused young prince and he’ll lose his popularity.”

He added: “He will lose it because of that and I think that’s a tragedy because I think he is a great guy.”

Royal expert Rob Jobson told Sky News that the couple’s behavior could tarnish their images, noting: “It’s about what they are doing and what they are saying. This morning they’ve posted on their Instagram account about doing a little bit of good and the people came straight back saying, ‘stop jumping into private jets.’”

Elton John defended them

In response to all of the criticism about Prince Harry and Markle traveling via private planes, many celebrities came to their defense.

Singer Elton John took to Instagram to explain that he had paid for their jet and was troubled that the couple is being treated harshly, writing about the “distorted and malicious account in the press surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s private stay at my home in Nice.” He explained that he feels “a profound sense of obligation to protect Harry and his family from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana’s untimely death.”

The singer continued: “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 singer defended the couple and asked the press to back off, noting: “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.”

Other celebrities came to their defense

Ellen DeGeneres and Pink also shared their support for the couple, with the talk show host noting: “Portia and I met Prince Harry and Meghan in England to talk about their work on wildlife conservation. They were the most down-to-earth, compassionate people. Imagine being attacked for everything you do, when all you’re trying to do is make the world better.”

Pink put out the call to “be a bit kinder,” tweeting: “I’m happy to see people coming to the defense of The Duke and Duchess of Sussex. The way people treat her is the most public form of bullying I have seen in a while. It’s out of control. Let’s all be a bit kinder, huh? Let’s show our children that it’s cool to be kind.”

Actress Jameela Jamil explained in her Instagram Story why all this criticism of Prince Harry and Markle is absurd, noting: “it’s not safe for us to be on the same panes and royals or presidents you absolute muppets. They are prime targets for kidnap and sometimes assassination.”

She added: “It’s in the interest of us civilians to not be endangered by proximity to people in such powerful positions.”