Prince Harry accused of 'elite environmentalism' after flying on a private jet to polo match

Prince Harry has spoken passionately about the climate crisis in recent months

(Image credit: Alamy)

Prince Harry has been heavily criticized for flying on a private jet just months after calling for urgent action to combat the climate emergency. 

  • Prince Harry has been heavily criticized for flying on a private jet after his trip to Colorado for a polo match. 
  • The Duke of Sussex, who has advocated for action against climate change multiple times, has been accused of hypocrisy for using the highly polluting vehicle to travel to California. 
  • In other royal news, here's why Princess Margaret is the reason we're all so obsessed with horoscopes.

Prince Harry has received strong criticism from environmentalists after he used a private jet to travel back to California after a charity polo match in Colorado. On Thursday, the Duke of Sussex made a surprise appearance at the Aspen Valley Polo Cup, marking his official return to the pitch since his controversial withdrawal from the Royal Family in early 2020. 

During the event, Prince Harry made a powerful statement about the proceeds from his upcoming memoir, vowing to donate $1.5 million of the profits to charity. 

Unfortunately, the royal equestrian's philanthropic efforts were quickly overshadowed by the details of his return journey, which involved borrowing the $50 (£45) million aircraft of his millionaire friend to fly home to his $14m Santa Barbara mansion.  

RICK RYCROFT/AFP via Getty Images)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle board a private plane in 2018 

(Image credit: RICK RYCROFT/AFP via Getty Images))

It didn't take long for critics to accuse Prince Harry, an outspoken advocate of climate action, of failing to practice what he preaches. In recent months, the Duke has gained quite the reputation for his eco-consciousness, speaking candidly about the dangers of global warming with Oprah Winfrey in May and narrating a special video for Earth Day in April. Meghan Markle and Prince Harry were even named environmental role models last month for only having two children, a family-planning decision that contributes to a sustainable human population. 

With so much interest in the climate emergency, it's hardly surprising that the Duke's use of a private jet, which can produce up to 14 times more pollution than commercial planes per passenger, didn't go down well with the public.

"Yesterday Prince Harry took a private jet home from a polo match—after lecturing us all about how climate change is one of the world's 'most pressing issues'. A total hypocrite," one frustrated Twitter user wrote. "Elite environmentalism is about telling the little people to know their place." 

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"Prince Harry takes a private jet home from a polo match. Please lecture me more on privilege and environmentalism," another angry user commented. 

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Harry's jet-hopping was also criticized by prominent royal experts, including author Thomas Quinn. Speaking to the Sun, the historical novelist called the trip "enormously hypocritical" before claiming that the Duke suffers from "a huge blind spot." 

"Harry seems to see himself as someone who guides the rest of the world and that his own behaviour isn’t relevant," he added.  

Emma Dooney
Lifestyle News Writer

Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, Emma mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.

Emma holds an MA in International Journalism from City, University of London, and a BA in English Literature from Trinity College Dublin.