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20 Sep 2019 9:13
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  •   Home > News > International

    Why Kate and William's budget flight to Scotland is generating comparisons with Meghan and Harry

    The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their children had barely touched down in Scotland before the articles started circulating about their mode of transport, and what it said about their Royal siblings. So, what's the big deal?


    This just in: The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have flown from England to Scotland.

    Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis accompanied Prince William and Catherine on the hop from Norwich to Aberdeen on Thursday.

    So, what's the big deal?

    Well, for starters, the online ticket price for such a trip (at the time of writing) was $132 a head.

    The FlyBe plane had barely touched down in Aberdeen — close to the Queen's Balmoral estate — before the headlines began popping up.

    Photos showed Prince William carrying bags across the tarmac before taking his seat on the plane for the one-hour and 15-minute flight.

    The Daily Mail said he looked the "archetypal family man on holiday", asThe Sun declared the family "Budget Royals".

    The Australian described the Prince as a "harassed father weighed down with luggage", while Kate was depicted as the "stoic wife following behind".

    And News.com.au suggested the Cambridges "could teach new Royal Meghan a thing or two", as The Daily Mirror said the move was in "stark contrast to Harry's gas-guzzling".

    What's with the Meghan and Harry comparisons?

    Kate and Will's budget flight came just days after Meghan and Harry were criticised by several newspapers and commentators for taking four private jet journeys in 11 days, including one on a plane belonging to Sir Elton John.

    The British media ran outraged headlines contrasting the couple's jet-setting lifestyle — in recent weeks, they've made trips to the Spanish island of Ibiza, and to Sir Elton's villa in Nice in the south of France — with their avowed status as environmentalists.

    Earlier this month,Prince Harry told British Vogue the couple would only have two children "maximum" for environmental reasons.

    And in a recent Instagram post to the official Sussex Royal account last month, the Prince was quoted as saying: "With nearly 7.7 billion people inhabiting this Earth, every choice, every footprint, every action makes a difference."

    Private jet travel is not only costly; it's less environmentally efficient given the smaller number of people aboard compared to commercial flights.

    That's why Sir Elton said he felt the need to publicly defend the couple after becoming "deeply distressed" by "malicious" reporting on the Royal couple's use of private jets earlier this week.

    He wrote in a post shared on his Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts: "I am deeply distressed by today's distorted and malicious account in the press surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's private stay at my home in Nice last week.

    "Prince Harry's Mother, Diana Princess Of Wales, was one of my dearest friends. I feel a profound sense of obligation to protect Harry and his family from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana's untimely death."

    Sir Elton also said he had paid credits into a carbon fund to make sure the Royals' flight was carbon neutral.

    The British press has been carrying reports about a feud between Meghan and Kate for the past year.

    In that light, the Cambridges' decision to fly budget to Scotland was always going to be framed as a deliberate rebuke to Meghan and Harry.

    Royal watcher Phil Dampier told the Daily Mail: "A cynic might say the Cambridges have done it deliberately, bearing in mind all the recent stories about the two brothers and their wives not getting on."

    But US magazine Town and Country said flying economy wouldn't have spared Meghan and Harry from criticism, saying the latest wave of commentary didn't exist in a vacuum.

    "It's part of an avalanche of intense judgment that the couple—and particularly the Duchess—faces about every aspect of their life.

    "Not to mention the open racism she has faced in many corners of the press and internet."


    ABC




    © 2019 ABC Australian Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved


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