Former minister likens Harry to ‘Carnivore advocating VEGETARIANISM’:

‘Like a carnivore advocating vegetarianism’: Former transport minister accuses Prince Harry of being the ‘wrong person’ to preach to travel industry about going green due to his and Meghan’s use of private jets

  • Prince Harry’s green plea was savaged by a former transport minister last night
  • It was is first appearance since controversial biography extracts were published
  • Delivered a speech at virtual summit for his sustainable tourism project Travalyst
  • Duke of Sussex, 35, urged travel industry to ‘build back better’ after Covid-19
  • But  it came as UK’s biggest tour operator TUI announced it was closing stores
  • Claims published in Sussexes’ biography Finding Freedom have caused a stir

The Duke of Sussex was savaged last night after his speech urging the travel industry to rebuild greener was likened to ‘A carnivore advocating vegetarianism’.

Prince Harry, 35, appeared via video link from Los Angeles to deliver the opening speech at a virtual global summit for his sustainable tourism project Travalyst.

In the address, the royal urged the travel industry to ‘build back better’ after Covid-19, saying it has a ‘responsibility’ to reshape the way we travel. 

But it came as UK’s biggest tour operator TUI announced it was closing a third of its high street stores due to trade challenges from coronavirus.

And former transport minister Norman Baker – a outspoken critic of the Royal – said he was the wrong person to lecture on green travel.

He told MailOnline: ‘I am afraid his credibility on the subject is lacking over his own jet setting, which undermines his case.

‘The message is fine, but the messenger is wrong – it’s like a carnivore advocating vegetarianism.’

Prince Harry, 35, appeared via video link from Los Angeles today to deliver the opening speech at a virtual global summit for his sustainable tourism project Travalyst

Prince Harry, 35, appeared via video link from Los Angeles today to deliver the opening speech at a virtual global summit for his sustainable tourism project Travalyst

Former Lib Dem MP and transport minister Norman Baker said Harry was the wrong messenger

Former Lib Dem MP and transport minister Norman Baker said Harry was the wrong messenger

Frequent flyer Harry defends using private jets ‘to ensure family are safe’

Harry and Meghan have faced criticism in the past for travelling on private jets.

Despite their eco-credentials, the couple used private jets frequently last year, including four trips in the space of 11 days last August.  

Analysis from last September of Harry and Meghan’s known flights since their wedding in May 2018 showed six of the ten return trips they took were by private jet – 60 per cent of the total.

They were also said to have flown into Florida for a JP Morgan conference in Miami on February 6 on the bank’s private jet from Vancouver. 

In May Hollywood tycoon Tyler Perry personally sent his massive $150 million private jet to whisk Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Los Angeles.

The couple have used private jets to fly to the likes of Italy, France and Spain. 

Harry dismissed concerns over his carbon footprint by insisting that he ‘offsets’ his emissions by donating to renewable energy incentives and planting trees.

Speaking on the issue last September, he said: ‘Occasionally there needs to be an opportunity [to fly privately] based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe – it’s as simple as that.’

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Mr Baker‘s thoughts were also echoed by some online, who suggested the Duke did not seem plugged into the current struggling travel sector.

Travel blogger Pamela RG wrote: ‘Tone deaf Prince Harry especially during this critical time when people are still suffering with infection or dying and unemployment.’

Both Harry and Meghan have come under fire for using private jets, while encouraging others to travel greener.  

It was the first time Harry has been seen since the Sussexes’ biography, Finding Freedom, was serialised by The Times and The Sunday Times. The book lays bare the rift between Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and the rest of the royal family. 

Harry spoke live from Los Angeles on Wednesday night to coincide with the start of the first summit session, which started on Thursday morning at 7am BST. A second session for viewers in EAMA and the Americas will take place later today.

He said in his opening speech: ‘Many of you joining us today rely on visitors for your livelihoods.

‘Businesses are hurting significantly, and I’ve heard from some of you who are currently struggling to put food on your family’s tables and make ends meet because there are no tourists and therefore no income.

‘We need to build back – but we need to build back better. And that means there’s a responsibility, a responsibility we cannot avoid or dismiss, for us to reshape this industry in a way that benefits everyone and everything for decades to come.’ 

He continued: ‘Before the pandemic unfolded we witnessed more and more young people expressing an interest in authentic travel experiences and an ability to partake in trips that are greener, that allow them to support local communities, uphold heritage and protect destinations and cultures.

Some Twitter users criticised the Duke for commenting when the travel sector was struggling

Some Twitter users criticised the Duke for commenting when the travel sector was struggling

His speech came after claims were published at the weekend from Finding Freedom

His speech came after claims were published at the weekend from Finding Freedom

‘This is the future of travel, and a future that Travalyst is here to support and catalyse.’ 

The Duke’s plea came just before holiday firm TUI said it had made the difficult decision to shut 166 shops is due to the need to cut costs.

Andrew Flintham, managing director of Tui UK and Ireland, said: ‘It is imperative that we make these difficult cost decisions, look after our colleagues during such unprecedented uncertainty and also offer a modern customer service. ‘

Harry launched Travalyst last autumn, co-founding it with leading brands Booking.com, Skyscanner, Tripadvisor, Trip.com and Visa, and it now operates as an independent non-profit organisation based in the UK. 

His appearance today comes amid shocking revelations from upcoming biography Finding Freedom, in which authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand claim relations between the Sussexes and the Cambridges grew so bitter that by March the couples were barely speaking. 

Scobie and Duran they have spoken to more than 100 sources including ‘close friends of Harry and Meghan’s, royal aides and palace staff (past and present)’, with all the information in the book having ‘at least two sources.’ 

The Duke and Duchess deny giving any interviews or contributing to the book directly, but the intimate nature of some details raises questions over who the sources were. 

The explosive biography has claimed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘hurt’ the Queen by unilaterally mapping out their future royal roles without her approval. 

Her Majesty is said to have been ‘blindsided’ by the launch of the SussexRoyal website which accompanied their Megxit announcement in January.  

There are also fears the book’s publication could spark a fresh rift within the royal family.

The duke, who now lives in Los Angeles with Meghan and their son Archie after the couple stepped down as working royals, made no mention of the book’s publication when he spoke at the virtual summit. 

The Duke of Sussex has urged the travel industry to 'build back better' after Covid-19 as he made his first public appearance since a series of royal revelations were published. He spoke at a virtual summit for his sustainable travel project Travalyst. Pictured, at an event in February

The Duke of Sussex has urged the travel industry to ‘build back better’ after Covid-19 as he made his first public appearance since a series of royal revelations were published. He spoke at a virtual summit for his sustainable travel project Travalyst. Pictured, at an event in February

Finding Freedom: The bombshell revelations from Harry and Meghan’s biography 

Harry and William fell out, when Duke of Sussex branded older brother a ‘snob’

Prince Harry took offence when his ‘snobby’ brother cautioned him not to rush into marrying Meghan Markle. 

Harry took offence when William told him: ‘Take as much time as you need to get to know this girl.’

Harry is said to have considered the choice of the words ‘this girl’ to be condescending.

‘In those last two words, ‘this girl’, Harry heard the tone of snobbishness that was anathema to his approach to the world,’ claims the book. ‘During his ten-year career in the military, outside the Royal bubble, he had learnt not to make snap judgments about people based on their accent, education, ethnicity, class or profession.’

Prince Harry took offence when his 'snobby' brother cautioned him not to rush into marrying Meghan Markle. Pictured: The brothers with Meghan Markle and Kate Middle at Westminster Abbey in 2018

Prince Harry took offence when his ‘snobby’ brother cautioned him not to rush into marrying Meghan Markle. Pictured: The brothers with Meghan Markle and Kate Middle at Westminster Abbey in 2018

Meghan was disappointed Kate never reached out

 Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle never became friends – while the Duchess of Sussex was ‘disappointed’ she never reached out to her or visited.

 The Duchesses ‘struggled to move past distance politeness’ and had ‘nothing in common other than the fact that they lived at Kensington Palace’, according to the authors of Finding Freedom.

In one particularly awkward encounter when Meghan was dating Harry, Kate went alone in her Range Rover on a shopping trip – despite the fact Meghan was also going to the same street.

The lack of any friendship between the pair was confirmed in 2018 when the Sussexes announced they wanted to base their family at Windsor.

Despite this frostiness, Meghan felt hurt at newspaper stories of the ‘duelling duchesses’ and was angry at the failure of the palace press office to correct them.

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle never became friends - while the Duchess of Sussex was 'disappointed' she never reached out to her or visited. The pair are pictured at Wimbledon together in 2018

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle never became friends – while the Duchess of Sussex was ‘disappointed’ she never reached out to her or visited. The pair are pictured at Wimbledon together in 2018

Courtiers branded Meghan Markle a ‘showgirl with lots of baggage’ and said ‘there’s something about her I don’t trust’ 

A courtier in the Royal Household has said ‘there is something I don’t trust’ about Meghan Markle, the book claims.

The book, Finding Freedom, claims as soon as Meghan was introduced to members of the Royal Household, tensions emerged.

One source claimed: ‘She comes with a lot of baggage.’ Another suggested: There’s just something about her I don’t trust.’

Another described Meghan as ‘Harry’s showgirl

Harry was convinced he was going to marry Meghan after the second date

The biography describes in detail the couple’s first date in Soho, London, which went so well that Meghan later confided in a friend: ‘Do I sound crazy when I say this could have legs?’.

Before arriving in the capital she had also told a confidant that she’d be happy for ‘a nice English gentleman to flirt with’ while promoting Suits in Britain.

During that first date at London’s Dean Street Townhouse the couple spent three hours in conversation, Harry drinking beer and Meghan sipping martinis. Harry was said to be ‘in a trance’ and had told himself: ‘I’ve got to up my game here’ when trying to impress the LA-born actress.

The book says: ‘Meghan had enough dating experience to know a charmer when she saw one, and Harry was obviously not at all that’ – adding the couple were ‘immediately obsessed’ with each other and bonded over their joint ‘passions for wanting to make change for good’.

The biography describes in detail the couple's first date in Soho, London, which went so well that Meghan later confided in a friend: 'Do I sound crazy when I say this could have legs?'. The couple are pictured in March

The biography describes in detail the couple’s first date in Soho, London, which went so well that Meghan later confided in a friend: ‘Do I sound crazy when I say this could have legs?’. The couple are pictured in March

According to one friend quoted in the book, Harry and Meghan ‘chatted a lot’ but the evening, like the night before, ended chastely, with Harry returning to Kensington Palace despite their ‘electric chemistry’.

Describing how they flirted throughout, the authors said: ‘A touch of an arm here, direct eye contact there.’

The pair had now met just twice but Harry already knew ‘they would be together at that point’, a friend said, adding of Meghan: ‘She was ticking every box fast.’ Meghan, who was in London visiting, documented much of her trip on social media.

The night out was so successful the second date the following night at the same venue where they are said to have sneaked in via a side door, hidden from view by a delivery truck bringing in produce and fresh fish from Billingsgate Market.

Prince Harry was the first to say 'I love you' in his relationship with Meghan Markle, with friends revealing the couple were 'immediately obsessed' with each other. They are pictured in March this year

Prince Harry was the first to say ‘I love you’ in his relationship with Meghan Markle, with friends revealing the couple were ‘immediately obsessed’ with each other. They are pictured in March this year

One trusted waiter was asked to serve them the entire evening to keep it private.

According to one friend quoted in the book, Harry and Meghan ‘chatted a lot’ but the evening, like the night before, ended chastely, with Harry returning to Kensington Palace despite their ‘electric chemistry’.

Describing how they flirted throughout, the authors said: ‘A touch of an arm here, direct eye contact there.’

The pair had now met just twice but Harry already knew ‘they would be together at that point’, a friend said, adding of Meghan: ‘She was ticking every box fast.’ Meghan, who was in London visiting, documented much of her trip on social media.

Harry was the first to say ‘I love you’   

Prince Harry was the first to say ‘I love you’ in his relationship with Meghan Markle, with friends revealing the couple were ‘immediately obsessed’ with each other.

Meghan’s necklace controversy

Meghan Markle was left ‘frustrated and emotional’ after a palace aide ‘scolded’ her for wearing a necklace with the initials H and M before she and Prince Harry were engaged, according to Finding Freedom. 

The former Suits star, 38, was spotted wearing the personalised £184 14 karat gold chain by Los Angeles-based designer Maya Brenner – believed to have been a gift from the prince – while out shopping in Toronto in December 2016.

The bold move was seen as an early indication of the seriousness of their relationship – a month after the news of their love affair emerged. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex later announced their engagement in November 2017. 

The former Suits star, 38, was spotted wearing the personalised chain - believed to have been a gift from the prince - while out shopping in Toronto

The former Suits star, 38, was spotted wearing the personalised chain – believed to have been a gift from the prince – while out shopping in Toronto

According to a source close to the couple, following the publication of the images Meghan received a dressing down from a palace aide.

‘She was advised that wearing such a necklace only served to encourage the photographers to keep pursuing such images — and new headlines,’ they said.

Prince Harry was REFUSED Queen’s offer of a trial period’ that would have allowed him and Meghan Markle to return to the fold 12 months after Megxit 

Prince Harry was so keen on quitting the royal family that he initially refused the offer of a trial period which could have seen him and Meghan return to the UK after Megxit, 

The review was insisted upon by courtiers and other royals, with the Queen keen to let Harry know he could return to the fold if he changed his mind. 

However, the Duke of Sussex was keen to make a ‘clean break’ and had to be persuaded to agree to the trial period.  A source said: ‘He was adamantly opposed to the review process.’

 Harry is thought to have been against the idea because it came from ‘the institution’ and he feared that a review would lessen the impact of their departure, allowing the media to write they could return.

Prince Harry was so keen on quitting the royal family that he initially refused the offer of a trial period which could have seen him and Meghan return to the UK after Megxit. Meghan is pictured with the Queen in June 2018

Prince Harry was so keen on quitting the royal family that he initially refused the offer of a trial period which could have seen him and Meghan return to the UK after Megxit. Meghan is pictured with the Queen in June 2018

Harry believed the ‘old guard’ at Buckingham Palace disliked Meghan and wanted to make her life difficult. 

That belief is thought to have fuelled his desire to not include a review option in Megxit.   

Harry ‘ditched an old friend for criticising Meghan’ 

The Duke of Sussex was so ‘incandescent’ with rage at the racist abuse Meghan Markle received after their relationship went public that he ditched an old friend for gossiping about her.

Harry was shocked at the reception given to his new girlfriend by his social circle and the wider public, according to Finding Freedom.

He was especially concerned about ‘the ugliness of racism…both unconscious and intentional’.

Charles didn’t know about Harry’s press statement 

Before they were engaged, Harry gave a bombshell statement from Kensington Palace condemning the press while confirming Harry’s new girlfriend.

But it’s release coincided with Prince Charles’ tour in the Middle East, the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall having arrived in Bahrain to meet the country’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa.

The palace decided to go ahead with the statement, much of it drafted by Harry himself.

Before they were engaged, Harry gave a bombshell statement from Kensington Palace condemning the press while confirming Harry's new girlfriend, upsetting Charles who didn't know about the statement until 20 minutes before. Pictured: Prince Harry and Prince William walk behind Charles, and the Queen at Westminster Abbey. Also pictured: Duchesses of Cornwall (front), Cambridge (middle) and Sussex (back)

Before they were engaged, Harry gave a bombshell statement from Kensington Palace condemning the press while confirming Harry’s new girlfriend, upsetting Charles who didn’t know about the statement until 20 minutes before. Pictured: Prince Harry and Prince William walk behind Charles, and the Queen at Westminster Abbey. Also pictured: Duchesses of Cornwall (front), Cambridge (middle) and Sussex (back)

His father only learnt of the statement 20 minutes before it was released and, unsurprisingly, it soon dominated the news cycle.

Prince Charles and his team were left crushed and disappointed, though Charles also understood the intervention was a necessary one.

However, the episode only served to prove that Harry felt the need to prioritise the woman he loved over duty to the royal family. 

Harry had a  secret Instagram account

Harry used the username SpikeyMau5, inspired by Canadian DJ Deadmau5, before freezing the account after his relationship with the former Suits star emerged in October 2016.

The private Instagram profile had a mouse-shaped helmet for a picture – but piqued attention from Meghan’s legions of fans when she became just one of two people following it four years ago just after the couple had a blind date at Dean Street Townhouse in Soho.

 The ‘Spikey’ element of its name came from the code word used by Scotland Yard officers guarding the Duke of Sussex 24/7.

Harry and Meghan’s £1500 a night camping trip 

Six weeks after their first date, Harry took Meghan to Botswana where the pair stayed in £1,500-a-night tents.

A friend is quoted as saying: ‘She came back smiling and just completely spellbound.’ Meghan’s phone was also said to be full of photos, including selfies of her and Harry.

‘I’ve never felt that safe that close to someone in such a short amount of time,’ she reportedly told a friend.

They continued their relationship in secret with Harry flying out to Canada to spend time with her.

But the authors said that ever since the couple’s trip to Africa, ‘their romance had been on a fast track’.

‘Technically the getaway was just their third date but by then, they were each already dancing around the idea that this just may be a for ever thing,’ a friend said. 

The biography also claims: – 

  • Meghan used to tip off the paparazzi when working as an actress in Canada, despite her later going on to claim she didn’t understand the ‘tabloid culture’.
  • Meghan’s friends claimed she endured prejudice from the royal household, with a senior staff member overheard telling a colleague: ‘There’s just something about her I just don’t trust.’   
  • Harry felt ‘unprotected’ by his family and disparaged within palace walls for being ‘too sensitive and outspoken’.
  • Senior courtiers in other households felt that the global popularity of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex ‘needed to be reined in’,
  • A tearful Meghan told friends about their decision to quit royal duties: ‘I gave up my entire life for this family.’
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