Why Are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Being Called Hypocrites?

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are no strangers to criticism. So when the couple posted about the effect that climate change has on our planet, their comments were met with some backlash. But the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are not the first people to speak out against climate change, so why are they being called out as hypocrites?

Meghan Markle was an activist long before she met Prince Harry

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | by Chris Jackson – Pool/Getty Images

Markle has long been an advocate for causes that she believes in. From women’s rights to animal causes, the former Suits actress has always had a passion for fighting for those in need. Her marriage to Prince Harry has only given her a bigger platform and has allowed her to reach people all around the world. 

The couple’s recent Instagram post about climate change included a quote from the duchess, imploring people to take action. She remarked on how ingrained climate change has become in the way we view our planet and how it has been considered a “necessary by-product of economic growth.” But the duchess reminded followers of the impact they can make: “With nearly 7.7 billion people inhabiting this Earth, every choice, every footprint, every action makes a difference.” 

This is not the first time the couple has discussed climate change

At 2019’s WE Day, Prince Harry talked about mental health and climate change. The Duke of Sussex told the audience that “climate change is a humanitarian issue, not a political one.” He continued, noting: “It’s one where we’ve been far too slow waking up to the issues and acting on the damaging impact our ways of living are having on the world.”

In 2018, Prince Harry made a similar speech at the University of the South Pacific. During this speech, the duke pointed out the extreme climate changes that the region has had to deal with over the past several years. He acknowledged that these people that he was talking to had an up-close look at the effects that climate change is having on our planet. As the Commonwealth Youth Ambassador, Prince Harry launched four Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships to allow students of the region to study climate change. 

Why are Prince Harry and Meghan Markle being called hypocrites?

Just as this is not the first time that the couple has addressed climate change, it is not the first time that they have been called hypocrites. In March, just two days before attending WE, Prince Harry took a private helicopter to Birmingham. Critics were quick to point out that the prince could have chosen to take a train instead, saving over $7,000 and substantially reducing his carbon footprint. 

And then, there’s the cost the public incurred to renovate the couple’s new home at Windsor. Though the couple renovated a previously unused space, the cost seems pretty excessive to the common person. $3 million taxpayer dollars could do a lot when it comes to fighting climate change, but instead, it was used to build a gourmet kitchen. 

If “every choice, every footprint, every action makes a difference,” why does the entire family continue to use private aircraft for all of their transportation? Did they have to spend $3 million on renovations? If the Duke and Duchess want people to take them seriously, shouldn’t they be leading by example?

When it comes to climate change, there is no question that the time to take action is now. And things won’t change unless everyone gets on the same page. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex travel the world to give their time and work with causes that find to be important. And in doing so, they utilize transportation that contradicts their statements about the environment. The question is, does the work that the royal family does to fight against climate change balance out the negative effects these trips are having?