Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Ignored This Critical Advice and It ‘Came Back to Bite Them Badly’

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have made some missteps that have earned them criticism along the way, but perhaps nothing was quite such a monumental oops as them taking private jets while preaching about environmental issues. Critics called them hypocrites for the move, even as Prince Harry defended the decision, noting safety reasons, but it turns out the whole thing could have been avoided.

prince harry meghan markle avoided advice
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Samir Hussein/WireImage

Prince Harry and Markle faced major backlash

The outcry over their travel was a result of the couple taking four private jets in 11 days. It seemed like absolute hypocrisy since the non-eco-friendly mode of transportation definitely isn’t in line with Prince Harry’s passion about saving the environment.

Understandably, they came under fire for the move and when asked about it at the launch of his new eco-tourism project, Prince Harry explained: “I spend 99% of my life traveling the world by commercial. Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe and it’s genuinely as simple as that. But as I said in my speech, for me, it’s about balance.”

He noted at the launch, “We can all do better. While no one is perfect, we all have a responsibility for our own individual impact. The question is what we do to balance it out.”

Prince Harry ignored this piece of advice

Prince Harry reportedly was warned not to fly privately to the Google climate change summit this summer in Sicily, but he ignored the warning.

The Mail on Sunday reports that, according to a source: “Aides warned Harry against taking a private flight to Sicily to attend a Google climate change conference. The Prince ignored the guidance and got on the plane. ‘It came back to bite him — badly.’”

The couple followed that up by flying via private jet to Ibiza for Markle’s birthday, then again by private plane to Elton John’s mansion in the south of France with baby Archie. The legendary singer later defended the couple.

Of course, Prince Harry’s brother Prince William and his wife, Kate Middleton, seemed to make the Sussexes look bad by flying on a budget flight around the same time.

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South Africa • After months of planning, Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived in South Africa today for their official Royal Tour of Southern Africa – focusing on community, grassroots leadership, women’s and girls’ rights, mental health, HIV/AIDS and the environment. Their first stop was to the incredible Justice Desk Project which works to make women and children safer in Nyanga. It’s an issue of vital importance in South Africa and across the globe, their Royal Highnesses wanted to learn first-hand about the issues people face and the work being done on the ground. One of the workshops Their Royal Highnesses saw was the Mbokodo project which provides self-defense classes and female empowerment workshops to young girls who are overcoming major traumas. This project's powerful motto is "wathint' abafazi wathint' imbokodo" which means "you strike a woman; you strike a rock" • “And just on one personal note, may I just say that while I am here with my husband as a member of The Royal Family, I want you to know that for me I am here with you as a mother, as a wife, as a woman, as a woman of colour and as your sister.” – The Duchess of Sussex • @TheJusticeDesk Project is supported by the @Queens_Commonwealth_Trust and works with community leaders in Nyanga, with the firm belief that if you can change the mindset of a community, you can change the mindset of a country. #SussexRoyalTour #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica • Photo ©️PA images / SussexRoyal – video SussexRoyal

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Why their Africa tour could turn things around

After Prince Harry reportedly ignored the warning about flying private, the damage was done. All is not lost, however, as his royal tour of Africa with Markle is proving to give their image a much-needed boost.

The trip to Africa is a high profile tour and, by all accounts, Prince Harry and Markle are doing everything right. A royal source shared with the Daily Mail: “It’s pretty obvious to everyone that there can be no ifs, no buts, it has to go well for them. All Royal tours are traditionally fantastic opportunities to generate positive publicity, but this one really matters.”

The Sussexes are reportedly “really listening” to the advice they’re receiving and have opted to keep their tour more casual, ditching the typical royal protocol in favor of a more down-to-earth approach. Vanity Fair reporter Katie Nicholl shared that, according to a source, Prince Harry and Markle requested “minimal fuss, formality, and protocol” during the tour, including asking that people address them by their first names.