Here’s Why You Won’t See Prince Harry and Meghan Markle When They Fly Commercial — Even If You’re on Their Flight

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle recently flew to South Africa — and they didn’t take a private jet. After receiving backlash, the royal couple decided to fly commercial during their South Africa tour and will likely do so from now on (unless they choose to fly private for safety reasons). But even if you’re on the same flight as this little royal family, you probably won’t even see them. Here’s why.

Prince Harry Meghan Markle
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle | Karwai Tang/WireImage

Harry and Meghan flew commercial after receiving criticism for their private jet use

The royal couple often express the need for people to act on climate change. But when they flew on four private jets in 11 days over the summer, the public quickly attacked them for their contradictory behavior. And to make matters worse, shortly after, Prince William and Kate Middleton were praised for flying commercial. Harry and Meghan knew it looked bad on them, so they decided to lay off the private jets and instead fly commercial to South Africa.

When royals fly commercial, they don’t do things the way the public does

Though the royals might be on a plane with the rest of the public, it doesn’t mean they are waiting in long security lines or sitting in uncomfortable chairs at their flight’s gate. Rather, they do things differently than the rest of the public — and they hardly even set foot in the public terminal. According to CNN, the royals typically wait for their flights in either the Windsor suites or the royal lounge at London Heathrow (where they normally fly from). Their security and passport checks are done in the suites, so they never actually need to interact with the public.

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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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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle flew commercial to South Africa.

Harry and Meghan are the last ones on and the first ones off, and they sit closest to the exit

In Harry and Meghan’s case, most passengers will never even know the two were on their flight. When it’s time to board, the royals are either brought on first or last, depending on their preference. They are driven to the plane, so they don’t need to stand in line to board with the rest of the public. Then, when their flight lands, they are the first ones off. They leave out an exit door from first class and are shuffled into a car, where they are then taken to their next stop. The royals sit closest to the exit, too, so as to make exit and entrance from the plane as easy and concealed as possible.

Nobody will be sitting next to the royals, either  

When the royals are on the plane, they are left alone. For the most part, nobody sits next to them, and some royals, such as Prince William and Kate Middleton, have even purchased the seats around them so that they can fly in peace. The bottom line is, when the royals are on a commercial flight, they still don’t do things the way normal members of the public do. If you’re lucky enough to be on the same flight, you might catch a glimpse of them, but for the most part, they will keep to themselves and be on and off the flight before anyone even knows they are there.