Pictured: Eco-lecturers Meghan Markle and Prince Harry board their private jet with baby Archie for fourth gas-guzzling flight in just 11 days as they leave the south of France 'after visiting Elton John's $18m mansion' on three-day jaunt

  • The Duke and Duchess of Sussex returned home from Nice on Saturday having arrived there last Wednesday
  • It follows the royal couple's trip to Ibiza earlier this month on August 6 before returning on Monday last week
  • Private jet trips come despite Harry and Meghan being outspoken on environmental issues in recent months
  • Flight from Nice generated estimated seven times the emissions per person compared to commercial flight

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were embroiled in another hypocrisy row today after being pictured leaving the south of France over the weekend in a fourth trip by private jet in just 11 days.

Prince 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.

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 are believed to have 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. 

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

The visit to France which ended on Saturday was Prince Harry and Meghan's second Mediterranean holiday of the summer

The visit to France which ended on Saturday was Prince Harry and Meghan's second Mediterranean holiday of the summer

The Duke of Sussex is pictured stepping on board the aircraft at Nice Airport, in another trip by the royals by private jet

The Duke of Sussex is pictured stepping on board the aircraft at Nice Airport, in another trip by the royals by private jet

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.

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

The private jet carrying the Duke and Duchess of Sussex takes off from Nice Airport on Saturday at about 3pm local time

The private jet carrying the Duke and Duchess of Sussex takes off from Nice Airport on Saturday at about 3pm local time

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

PHIL DAMPIER: 'People don't like to be lectured on climate change by those who don't do follow their own advice'

'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 three 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.

'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.

'It's really sad to see all the goodwill that people had towards this couple disappear in such a short space of time.

'They really need to understand quickly the damage they are doing and take steps to turn it around.

'They could start by taking on some of the 1500 patronages of the Queen and Prince Philip, and get out there and do some run-of-the-mill royal jobs and shake a few hands.

'Meghan gives the impression she wants to live like a Hollywood star protected by publicists, agents and lawyers and that's not how the royal family works.

'It only survives because there is give and take and the public- who are paying for it - want it to succeed.

'If they lose the public's support they are in trouble.'

Phil Dampier is a veteran royal watcher and the author of Royally Suited: Harry and Meghan In Their Own Words

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.' 

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 today.

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.

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.  

Harry and Meghan are believed to have visited the £15million palatial home of Castel Mont-Alban owned by Sir Elton John

Harry and Meghan are believed to have visited the £15million palatial home of Castel Mont-Alban owned by Sir Elton John

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

Huge carbon footprint of Harry and Meghan's trips to the Mediterranean 

Harry and Meghan's trip to Nice was estimated to have had a carbon footprint of just over three tons.

The private jet generated an estimated seven times the emissions per person compared to a commercial flight. 

This was on top of their Ibiza trip this month which was believed to have had a footprint of more than four tons

This was estimated to have emitted about six times more carbon dioxide per person than a scheduled flight.

The carbon footprint of an average person in the UK is 13 tons a year.  

A tree removes about seven tons of carbon dioxide from the air once fully grown - meaning Harry and Meghan would technically need to plant one tree to offset their carbon footprint just from their two trips this month.  

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. 

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

Prince Harry was also seen disembarking from the private plane in Nice last Wednesday wearing a baseball cap

Prince Harry was also seen disembarking from the private plane in Nice last Wednesday wearing a baseball cap

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.

In September's edition of Vogue, guest edited by Meghan, Harry said the couple would only have two children for the sake of the environment. The Duke of Sussex is pictured with ethologist Dr Jane Goodall who also appears in the issue

In September's edition of Vogue, guest edited by Meghan, Harry said the couple would only have two children for the sake of the environment. The Duke of Sussex is pictured with ethologist Dr Jane Goodall who also appears in the issue

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. 

 

The yellow palace where 'King' Elton John welcomed Meghan Markle, Prince Harry and Archie: Singer's £15m villa overlooking Nice where he relaxes with his sons and entertains celebrity pals including the Beckhams

It's a palatial property fit for royals - and certainly lived up to the billing when Sir Elton John is believed to have hosted the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at his £15million residence last week.

The 72-year-old singer often spends the summer months at his home of Castel Mont-Alban overlooking Nice on the French Riviera with his husband David Furnish and their two sons Zachary, eight, and Elijah, six.

Sir Elton has previously hosted the likes of David and Victoria Beckham, comedian David Walliams and actor couple Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka at the property which was once dubbed his 'Pink Villa'.

Sir Elton John's stunning home Castel Mont-Alban overlooks Nice on the French Riviera and is worth about £15million

Sir Elton John's stunning home Castel Mont-Alban overlooks Nice on the French Riviera and is worth about £15million

Sir Elton and his husband David Furnish (left) are good friends with actor couple Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka (right). The couples are pictured together with their two children each while on the French Riviera last summer

Sir Elton and his husband David Furnish (left) are good friends with actor couple Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka (right). The couples are pictured together with their two children each while on the French Riviera last summer

Sir Elton has hosted the likes of David and Victoria Beckham at his property in Nice. They are pictured together last summer

Sir Elton has hosted the likes of David and Victoria Beckham at his property in Nice. They are pictured together last summer

Sir Elton and his Canadian filmmaker husband Mr Furnish are pictured with their sons in Nice in the summer last year

Sir Elton and his Canadian filmmaker husband Mr Furnish are pictured with their sons in Nice in the summer last year

He bought the Belle Epoque villa surrounded by the green spaces of Mont Boron in the 1990s and locals have described it as the 'Bel Air of Nice' thanks to the concentration of multimillion-pound mansions in the area.

It can be seen from the Promenade des Anglais below, and local interior designer Bjarni Breidfjord said: 'It's quite unique for a celebrity like him to have bought here. No other celebrities live up there. He is king of that hill.'

Sir Elton is known to enjoy staying in the exclusive area of France's Côte d'Azur and received the Legion d'Honneur, the country's highest civilian award, from President Emmanuel Macron just two months ago.

Burtka previously said: 'Elton is a little more uptight in his real world, but in Nice he just relaxes. He's so fun and he laughs with his kids and has a good time. He just forgets about the madness of his life.'

Sir Elton's home is just a 20-mile drive away from Cannes, where the annual film festival is held, and he is said to enjoy tending to his plants in the garden of the property, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

The home can be seen from the Promenade des Anglais, the famed promenade along the Mediterranean at Nice (file image)

The home can be seen from the Promenade des Anglais, the famed promenade along the Mediterranean at Nice (file image)

Sir Elton often stays at the home in summer with his husband David Furnish and their two sons Zachary, eight, and Elijah, six

Sir Elton often stays at the home in summer with his husband David Furnish and their two sons Zachary, eight, and Elijah, six 

The property was built in the 1920s and adapted by Sir Elton with designers Fred Dilger and Monique Gibson. The pool now features Egyptian Deco statues of the four seasons, while his bedroom has an Andy Warhol panting.

Ms Gibson previously told Architectural Digest: 'It was pink for a while, then we painted it yellow. That's very much Elton's spirit: 'I've enjoyed it pink; let's love it yellow.' Everything is always changing.'

The home is also said to feature a tower room overlooking the Mediterranean, a metal mask sculpture by Roy Lichtenstein and slipcovers for the chairs with co-ordinate with 14 sets of china.

Sir Elton is one of many celebrities who enjoy Nice as a playground of the rich – with others including actress Dame Joan Collins, U2 frontman Bono, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, actor Sean Connery and singer Tina Turner.

The singer entered into a civil partnership with Canadian filmmaker Mr Furnish, 56, in December 2005, before tying the knot when same-sex marriage became legal in England and Wales in March 2014.  

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry board their private jet with baby Archie

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