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Kate and William catch budget flight back from Scottish holiday with their children

Prince William, his wife Kate and their children have been spotted getting off a budget flight as they return from their holiday to Scotland, amid a row over Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s private jet trips.

It comes a week after the Duke of Cambridge and Duchess of Cambridge flew from Norwich International Airport to Aberdeen Airport with their family for a short trip away.

   

The royal couple and their family were whisked away to visit the Queen and Prince Philip at Balmoral.

The Cambridges appearance on the cheap flight will inevitably lead to comparisons with William’s brother Prince Harry and his wife Meghan.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have come in for criticism from some quarters after they took four private jet flights in 11 days this summer.

They flew from London to Ibiza and back before making a return trip to Nice earlier this month, fuelling claims they were contributing to climate change.

The Duke of Cambridge can be seen with his children at Aberdeen airport this morning

Kate Middleton is walking behind her husband and the other children while she holds Louis

Kate Middleton is walking behind her husband and the other children while she holds Louis

A passenger on the plane who spotted them said: ‘The family were sat right at the front. I fly this route all the time and we were none the wiser. No-one knew they were on the flight.

‘Later on I realised that Kate’s mother was sat a few rows in front of me.’

Looking like your archetypal family man on holiday, Prince William can be seen clutching a number of bags while George, six, and Charlotte, four, run excitably alongside him.

Surprised passengers saw Kate walking just behind her husband and holding Louis, one, alongside the family’s nanny Maria Borrallo. 

Royal author Robert Jobson, who wrote a best-selling biography on Prince Charles, said it proved the Royal Family could take regular commercial flights.

He said: ‘There was a lot of nonsense spoken earlier in the week about how Prince Harry and Meghan Markle needed to fly in private jets because of security concerns.

‘But the Royal Family have been using cheap airlines for years, Princess Diana would do it frequently.

‘William and Kate flying on a budget airline proves you can do it, there was no trouble on the flight, and if there was they have their protection officers.

Meghan Markle carries baby son Archie on to a luxury private jet after she and Prince Harry enjoyed a three-day family holiday at Sir Elton John's stunning £15 million in the south of France

Meghan Markle carries baby son Archie on to a luxury private jet after she and Prince Harry enjoyed a three-day family holiday at Sir Elton John’s stunning £15 million in the south of France

A stock image of a FlyBe EMB145EU plane which will be similar to the one used by Prince William and his wife

A stock image of a FlyBe EMB145EU plane which will be similar to the one used by Prince William and his wife

Prince Harry and Meghan are pictured stepping on board a private jet on Saturday

The couple had arrived in France three days earlier

Prince Harry and Meghan are pictured stepping on board a private jet on Saturday, having arrived in France three days earlier

‘It’s a shrewd move by the Duke of Cambridge and great for the public. They get to see the heir to the throne and his children who are next in line, and if they can fly budget then surely Harry, Meghan and their child are able to as well.

‘A lot of people are claiming the royals are costing too much at the moment, and William is putting his money where his mouth is by going budget.’ 

A spokesman for Kensington Palace said: ‘We do not comment on what they do with their private time as a family.’

The passenger added: ‘Earlier in the flight, I’d had the feeling that someone had come on the plane that I’d recognised – but I thought it was just a footballer.

‘We landed, and people then saw two black Range Rovers on the tarmac.

‘Suddenly, Will, Kate, and the kids all got up, and left.

‘They weren’t harassed by anyone at all as they got off the plane. They just seemed like a family travelling together to be honest.

‘No one saw them get on the plane either. It was amazing how they did it – they must have slipped on quietly, after people were already seated.

‘I couldn’t believe my eyes. You don’t expect to see royalty on a budget airliner.’ 

Reports of a feud between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Prince William and Kate have circulated ever since Meghan Markle joined the Royal Family. 

Veteran royal watcher Phil Dampier, author of Royally Suited : Harry and Meghan In Their Own Words said : ‘The contrast between William and Kate and their family travelling on a cheap budget flight to Scotland and Harry and Meghan using private jets couldn’t be starker.

‘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.

‘After all Meghan told Vogue magazine she didn’t want to be on the cover of the magazine she edited because it would have been boastful knowing full well Kate had been a cover girl.

A graphic showing the various flight's undertaken by Prince Harry and wife Meghan in recent weeks

A graphic showing the various flight’s undertaken by Prince Harry and wife Meghan in recent weeks

Harry and Meghan have been outspoken on environmental issues in recent months despite still travelling by private jet

Harry and Meghan have been outspoken on environmental issues in recent months despite still travelling by private jet

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s private jet

The Cessna Sovereign Plane

The Cessna Sovereign Plane

Make of the plane: Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign

Top speed: 592 mph

Menu: Anything you want

Number of seats: 12

Other amenities: Plush seats, huge bathrooms, personal television monitors and LED lighting with a dimmer switch

Price for their flight: Around £20,000 

Prince William and Kate Middleton’s budget plane

A FlyBe ERJ plane

A FlyBe ERJ plane

Make of the plane: Part of the ERJ series popular with budget airlines

Top speed: 598 mph

Menu: Any pastry and a hot drink for £4

Number of seats: 44

Other amenities: Every passenger has a window or aisle seat and there is roomy overhead locker space

Price for their flight: £365

‘And Harry and Meghan made a point of saying they were only having two children to save the planet knowing William and Kate had three.

‘Could this be William and Kate hitting back? At the very least they would have known they would have been criticised if they had taken a private jet.’ 

It comes as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have found themselves embroiled in a hypocrisy row after being pictured leaving the south of France on Saturday, their fourth trip by private jet.

Harry and Meghan, who have been outspoken on environmental issues in recent months, generated an estimated seven times the emissions per person compared to a commercial flight when flying home from Nice.

Photographs of the royal couple and three-month-old Archie showed the family stepping on board the Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign jet on Saturday at about 3pm local time, having arrived in France three days earlier.  

The use of private jets has prompted criticism of the couple but Sir Elton John and actress Jamila Jameel have defended them. 

Sir Elton John confirmed in an Instagram post that he had paid for Harry and Meghan to fly to and from his mansion

Sir Elton John confirmed in an Instagram post that he had paid for Harry and Meghan to fly to and from his mansion

Last Wednesday, Meghan was pictured holding baby Archie as she stepped off the private jet upon their arrival in Nice

Last Wednesday, Meghan was pictured holding baby Archie as she stepped off the private jet upon their arrival in Nice

Sir Elton claimed he had ensured Prince Harry and Meghan’s flight to and from the French Riviera last week were carbon neutral by making the ‘appropriate contribution’ to a carbon footprint fund. 

He condemned the ‘relentless and untrue assassinations on their character’ and wrote on social media that he had made sure the flight was carbon neutral by making the ‘appropriate contribution’ to a carbon footprint fund.

Meanwhile The Good Place star claimed it was not safe for ‘civilians’ to be on the same flights as members of the royal family.

Royal expert Phil Dampier: ‘Could this be William and Kate hitting back?’

Veteran royal watcher Phil Dampier, author of Royally Suited : Harry and Meghan In Their Own Words said : ‘The contrast between William and Kate and their family travelling on a cheap budget flight to Scotland and Harry and Meghan using private jets couldn’t be starker.

‘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.

‘After all Meghan told Vogue magazine she didn’t want to be on the cover of the magazine she edited because it would have been boastful knowing full well Kate had been a cover girl.

‘And Harry and Meghan made a point of saying they were only having two children to save the planet knowing William and Kate had three.

‘Could this be William and Kate hitting back? At the very least they would have known they would have been criticised if they had taken a private jet.

‘To be fair to them they often travel on commercial flights.

‘When the family go to Mustique they fly British Airways to Barbados before a short hop to the island.

‘Whatever the family rivalries and politics, these pictures prove it is possible for royals to travel on holiday safely with the rest of us, the public!

‘The argument used by Harry and Meghan’s friends that they need to take private jets for their own safety is clearly a weak one, especially as William is the heir to the throne and his children are next in line, while Harry is now way down the pecking order at number six!’

 

She tweeted: ‘Ugh. Dear England and English press, just say you hate her because she’s black, and him for marrying a black woman and be done with it God dammit. Your bullying is so embarrassing and obvious. You’ve all lost your marbles. It’s 2019. Grow up.

‘And ALSO, it’s not safe for us to be on the same planes as royals or presidents you absolute muppets. They are prime targets for kidnap and sometimes assassination. It’s in the interest of us civilians to not be endangered by proximity to people in such powerful positions.’ 

Royal experts said the British public do not want to be ‘lectured on climate change by those who don’t do follow their own advice’, while MPs said the trips do not ‘fit with their public image’ they project as eco-warriors.

The couple visited the £15million palatial home of Castel Mont-Alban owned by Sir Elton John and his husband David Furnish overlooking the Promenade des Anglais during their holiday to the French Riviera.

The trip to Nice came shortly after Harry and Meghan, who married in May last year, had returned by private jet to the UK from Ibiza after a six-night break on the Spanish island to mark the Duchess’s 38th birthday.

Last Wednesday, Harry and Meghan had arrived in France on a 12-seater Cessna aircraft, despite there being more than 20 scheduled commercial flights from London to Nice each Wednesday costing as little as £100 each. 

The Cessna plane would have cost more than £20,000 to hire, meaning Harry and Meghan could have taken 200 flights to Nice for the same price.

The visit to France came after their first Mediterranean holiday of the summer – a trip to Ibiza which saw them fly out on August 6 before returning last Monday. Both journeys were again made by private jet.

Veteran royal watcher Phil Dampier told MailOnline today: ‘Whether you think recent criticism of Harry and Meghan is fair or not it’s worrying to me that they don’t seem to care and aren’t about to change their behaviour.

‘They must have known that taking private jets four times in quick succession would leave them open to charges of hypocrisy but they just went ahead and did it anyway. 

‘They are not unique – other royals have taken private jets, but they have been criticised over the years as well. I certainly don’t believe they are getting a bad press because the British public are racist.

‘It is simply that people don’t like to be lectured on climate change by those who don’t do follow their own advice.’

The author of ‘Royally Suited: Harry and Meghan In Their Own Words’ added: ‘Some families slave away all year to afford one nice holiday and they shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about harming the planet when Harry and Meghan are swanning about in luxury.’ 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex speak with Sir Elton John at The Lion King premiere in London's Leicester Square on July 14

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex speak with Sir Elton John at The Lion King premiere in London’s Leicester Square on July 14

Meanwhile Paul Morozzo, a climate campaigner for Greenpeace UK, told MailOnline: ‘An airliner is over ten times as polluting as a modern train, and private jets are ten times more polluting still. 

‘It’s vitally important that all frequent fliers reduce the number of flights they take if we are to confront the climate emergency, and that means the last thing we should be doing is building new runways anywhere in the UK.’

Labour MP Teresa Pearce said: ‘Given the position they have taken publicly about being responsible on climate change, this does seem an anomaly which they should look at.

‘I find this quite surprising because it doesn’t fit with their public image and the way they’re so concerned about the planet and the environment.’

Ken Wharfe, an ex-royal protection officer who guarded Princess Diana, said: ‘Frankly it’s hypocritical. Harry can’t be preaching about the catastrophic effects of climate change while jetting around the world on a private plane.’

Kensington Palace declined to comment on Harry and Meghan’s trip when contacted by MailOnline.

The Duke and Duchess sparked fury among some of their followers on Instagram by posting a quote from Archbishop Desmond Tutu about doing 'your little bit of good'

The Duke and Duchess sparked fury among some of their followers on Instagram by posting a quote from Archbishop Desmond Tutu about doing ‘your little bit of good’

Friends of the Earth climate change campaigner Aaron Kiely said last week: ‘The Duke of Sussex speaks wonderful and stirring words on the environment and then he flies off on holiday to a European destination in a private jet.

‘He could have taken a train and then a boat. This would have been the perfect opportunity to set an environmental example.’

On August 6, the first day of the holiday to Ibiza, the only private plane travelling to Ibiza from Farnborough Airport was a Gulfstream 200, which can hold up to 19 people. 

It left at 7.49am UK time and touched down on the Balearic island at 10.49am local time.

Six days later, on Monday of last week, a nine-seater Cessna 500 XL, owned by NetJets, left Ibiza at 10.14am local time and landed at Farnborough at 11.20am UK time and is understood to have been carrying the royals.

Off-setting scheme supported by Elton John ‘will have no meaningful effect on climate change’ 

Greenpeace’s chief scientist has said it is ‘not okay’ to claim that private jet travel is ‘carbon neutral’ as a result of a donation to a carbon offset scheme.

Sr Doug Parr told MailOnline: ‘There’s no way any current tech deals with the load of CO2 you’ve released on a personal level’.

Sir Elton John responded to criticism of Harry and Meghan’s recent private jet vacations by insisting he had made a donation to offset the carbon cost of the trips.

The royal couple’s return flights in private jets from England to Ibiza, and then from England to Nice, generated an estimated seven tonnes of CO2. 

Sir Elton wrote: ‘To support Prince Harry’s commitment to the environment, we ensured their flight was carbon neutral, by making the appropriate contribution to Carbon Footprint™.’

Carbon Footprint is a UK registered company run by John and Wendy Buckley, which provides advice to individuals and businesses on how to reduce their carbon footprint, and channels funding to schemes designed to offset carbon emissions.

These projects include the planting of trees or the reduction of Brazilian deforestation.

According to Carbon Positive Life a single tree can absorb as much as 48 lbs (21.77 kgs) of CO2 per year, meaning it would take 321 years to absorb seven tonnes, although it could cost as little as £170 to offset.  

However in common with many carbon offset firms, many of the schemes run by Carbon Footprint focus on other ways to put in place systems, especially in developing countries, which stop carbon dioxide – which would otherwise have been released into the atmosphere – from being released.

One scheme is focused on identifying and repairing broken boreholes in Uganda – so local communities get access to safe drinking water and, as a result, do not have to cut trees and burn firewood to boil and purify their drinking water in future.

Another scheme distributes efficient cooking stoves to villagers in Kenya, where more than 80 per cent of the population relies on burning wood and charcoal to cook, producing a large amount of CO2. 

Carbon Footprint believes that scheme has helped more than 96,000 people, prevented deforestation, provided protection from lung cancer and reduced global CO2 emission by 17,970 tonnes of CO2 per year in comparison to where those levels would otherwise be.

Dr Parr said of the projects funded by the firm to which Sir Elton donated: ‘They’re not wrong things to be done, but they’re not the answer that’s meaningful in terms of the climate challenge we face.’ 

At least one leg of the journey is understood to have been booked through NetJets, which has earned the nicknames ‘Hertz For Heirs’ or ‘Uber for billionaires’ because it serves the wealthy. 

It is not known who paid for the flights, which would have cost around £20,000 return. But NetJets are linked to Harry’s close friend Nacho Figueras, an Argentine sportsman known as the ‘David Beckham of polo’.

Mr Figeuras is understood to own one of the jets and often uses his social media profiles to promote them. It is also possible they may have borrowed a private jet from a friend whose plane is managed by a hire company.

NetJets has 750 planes for hire worldwide and boasts of offering an ‘unmatched experience’ to rich clients.

Once in Ibiza, the couple stayed in the Vista Alegre gated complex of sea-facing mansions and were guarded by British and Spanish state security personnel.

There was also anger at the lack of transparency surrounding the trip, with royal representatives refusing to disclose how much it cost taxpayers. 

A source on the island told MailOnline the royals landed in Ibiza on August 6 with several taxpayer-funded Metropolitan Police bodyguards.

They added that five close protection officers from the Spanish security forces joined the group escorting them to their private villa.

The most expensive villas overlooking the azure waters of Ibiza’s Porroig Bay are listed at £20,000 per week, but the price of others on enquiry rises to £120,000 per week, reported the Sun. 

Buckingham Palace claimed that it was a private matter and declined to comment. 

Harry and Meghan’s trip to France was estimated to have had a carbon footprint of just over three tons and their earlier trip to Ibiza was believed to have had a footprint of more than four tons. The carbon footprint of an average person in the UK is 13 tons a year. 

Meanwhile, it was reported last week that Harry and Meghan asked the Queen if they could live in Windsor Castle when they were planning their life together. 

She was said to have politely, but firmly, suggested that they move to Frogmore Cottage instead.  

The couple’s decision to use a private jet for their Ibiza trip means the journey would have emitted six times more carbon dioxide per person than a scheduled flight from London to the Spanish island. 

The flights there and back would have given out 12.5 tons of carbon dioxide. There are around 14 scheduled flights from London and the South East to Ibiza each day.

Their choice of transport flew in the face of their frequent public pronouncements on green issues. 

In an interview published in the September issue of Vogue with conservationist Jane Goodall, Harry revealed that he and Meghan wanted a ‘maximum’ of two children because of environmental concerns.

The issue was guest-edited by the Duchess and she chose climate change activist Greta Thunberg as one of her ‘forces for change’ to be put on the front cover. 

Greta, 16, travelled to New York from England by boat because she refuses to travel by plane.

The couple’s string of private-jet flights also comes after Harry attended a ‘green summit’ organised by tech giant Google in Sicily at the end of July where he delivered an impassioned speech on saving the environment.

He was reportedly barefoot as he gave his lecture to VIPs and power-brokers. However, it was claimed Google paid for his flights and a helicopter to a luxury resort where he is said to have stayed on a gas-guzzling super-yacht.

Other Royals have used cheap airlines for their flights alongside the public. Prince Harry boarded a Wizz Air flight from Luton to Transylvania in 2012 and in 2015 Prince William, 37, used a Ryanair plane to get to Scotland.

In 2011 he was also joined by wife Kate, also 37, on a Flybe flight to Zara and Mike Tindall’s wedding.  

Inside Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s private jet: Photos reveals lavish interior of luxury 12-seater Cessna used by eco-preaching Royal couple

Pictures have revealed the lavish interior of the Cessna private jet at the centre of the environmental row around Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been accused of hypocrisy having previously spoken of ‘making a difference’ to the future of the planet and the need for ‘urgent intervention’ only to then increase their own carbon footprint through the use of four private jets in just 11 days.

Now images have revealed the luxury they enjoy inside the 12-seater plane including plush seats, spreads of fine cuisine, huge bathrooms and personal television monitors. 

Pictures have emerged showing the luxury interior of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Cessna private jet, pictured

Pictures have emerged showing the luxury interior of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Cessna private jet, pictured

The images show how the Royals travel in style with plush seats, water bottles waiting for them on trays, television monitors and spacious bathrooms big enough to change clothes in

The images show how the Royals travel in style with plush seats, water bottles waiting for them on trays, television monitors and spacious bathrooms big enough to change clothes in

The plane's technology is also specially designed to provide a safe and smooth flight including a variable gear system that changes the flaps to provide the best flight angle and a top-of-the-range carbon break. Pictured is the cockpit

The plane’s technology is also specially designed to provide a safe and smooth flight including a variable gear system that changes the flaps to provide the best flight angle and a top-of-the-range carbon break. Pictured is the cockpit

The Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign plane, which can hit top speeds of 592mph, also has spacious bathrooms big enough for passengers to change clothes and LED lighting which has a dimmer switch for passenger comfort. 

The plane’s mechanics are also specially designed to ensure ‘smooth and safe flights’, including a top-of-the-range carbon brakes, a variable gear system that changes the flaps for the best flight angle and engines that minimise noise.

Pictures emerged at the weekend of Harry, Meghan and Archie boarding the £15million private jet in Nice after three days at Sir Elton’s home.

Their arrival in France came just two days after they flew home by private jet from Ibiza after a six-night break celebrating Meghan’s 38th birthday.

Each flight is estimated to have created a carbon footprint of more than three tons, producing seven times more carbon emissions per person than a commercial flight.

They arrived in France on a 12-seater Cessna aircraft last Wednesday, despite there being more than 20 scheduled commercial flights from London to Nice that day.

It is unknown whether Meghan Markle and Prince Harry would have enjoyed exactly the same food as this pictured, but the images show how guests on the private plane are offered fine cuisine rather than standard aeroplane food

It is unknown whether Meghan Markle and Prince Harry would have enjoyed exactly the same food as this pictured, but the images show how guests on the private plane are offered fine cuisine rather than standard aeroplane food

The plane, which costs around £15million, has room for 12 passengers but also carries a heavy carbon footprint, with each of the Royals flights creating a footprint of more than three tonnes - seven times more carbon emissions per person than a commercial flight

The plane, which costs around £15million, has room for 12 passengers but also carries a heavy carbon footprint, with each of the Royals flights creating a footprint of more than three tonnes – seven times more carbon emissions per person than a commercial flight 

Their earlier trip to Ibiza is believed to have produced a footprint of more than four tons.

The carbon footprint – carbon dioxide released as a direct result of an activity – of an average person in the UK is 13 tons a year.

The row has intensified after Piers Morgan criticised them for being ‘eco-warriors’ without practicing what they preach, while several celebrities have come to their defence.  

Royal sources said the Duchess of Sussex is ‘not wasting time’ on the public row over her private jet use.

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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