Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – outspoken environmentalists – have been copping some flak from the public for opting to fly by private jet.

The criticism of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex got so bad after they took a charter flight to spend time at Elton John’s home in Nice, France that the Rocketman singer made a public statement in their defence, explaining that he paid for the trip and a carbon offset to lessen the environmental impact of their private air travel.

Harry and Meghan have opted not to respond to the backlash – until now.

Launching Travalyst, a new eco-tourism company in Amsterdam on Tuesday, the father of baby Archie Harrison defended his family’s need to fly private on occasion.

“I came here by commercial,” the 34-year-old said, according to the Associated Press.

“I spend 99 percent of my life traveling the world by commercial. Occasionally, there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure my family are safe and it’s genuinely as simple as that. But as I said in my speech, for me, it’s about balance.”

“We can all do better,” he added. “And while no is perfect, we are all responsible for our individual impact. The question is what we do to balance it out.”

Last month, Sir Elton John tweeted in response to the furore of Meghan and Harry’s exclusive mode of travel:

“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.

“After a hectic year continuing their hard work and dedication to charity, [my husband] David and I wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquility of our home,” the pop icon explained.

“To maintain a high level of much-needed protection, we provided them with a private jet flight.”

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