Following the news that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had taken another family holiday to the south of France just days after a six-day jaunt on Ibiza, the press and critics were quick to label the couple 'hypocrites' after they flew on private jets to both their holiday destinations – seemingly a departure from their strong advocacy for the environment and minimising carbon emissions.
However, following a day of damning reports from UK tabloids, Sir Elton John has slammed the "distorted and malicious" accounts and has shared the truth behind the couple's visit to Nice, which the British music icon reveals was to stay with him and his husband David Furnish.
In a thread of tweets posted to Twitter, Sir Elton begins with an image of Harry and Meghan meeting school children during their visit to New Zealand writing: "I am deeply distressed by today's distorted and malicious account in the press surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's 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.
"After a hectic year continuing their hard work and dedication to charity, David and I wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquillity of our home. To maintain a high level of much-needed protection, we provided them with a private jet flight," he explains.
Adding: "To support Prince Harry's commitment to the environment, we ensure their flight was carbon neutral, by making the appropriate contribution to Carbon Footprint™.
"I highly respect and applaud both Harry and Meghan's commitment to charity and I'm calling on the press to cease these relentless and untrue assassinations on their character that are spuriously crafted on an almost daily basis."
He signed the series of five tweets, "Elton".
Since Sir Elton's series of tweets – with the same message also posted to his Instagram account, talk show host Ellen DeGeneres has also come to the couple's defence tweeting: "Portia and I met Prince Harry and Meghan in England to talk about their work on wildlife conservation.
"They were the most down-to-earth, compassionate people. Imagine being attacked for everything you do, when all you're trying to do is make the world better."
The Sussex's holiday to the French Rivieria came two days after the family-of-three also holidayed on the Spanish island of Ibiza to celebrate Meghan's 38th birthday at the beginning of August, which they also flew to on a private jet.
However, according to royal correspondent Omid Scobie, the couple flew on a jet owned by Net Jets to Ibiza, a corporate jet operator which has reportedly been carbon neutral since 2012, "and have invested heavily in research to explore sustainable alternatives to fossil based fuels," he tweeted.
Both Harry and Meghan are passionate advocates for environmental issues, with Prince Harry recently revealing he would have two children "maximum", for environmental reasons.
In a recent interview he conducted with primatologist Dr Jane Goodall for the September issue of British Vogue (guest edited by Meghan), said: "I've always thought: this place is borrowed.
"And, surely, being as intelligent as we all are, or as evolved as we all are supposed to be, we should be able to leave something better behind for the next generation."
Harry and Meghan (along with little Archie) have more travel plans on the cards – the family-of-three will be travelling to South Africa in October to embark on an official royal tour, with Prince Harry set to also visit the neighbouring countries of Angola, Malawi and Botswana.
While the family's holiday to Ibiza marked Archie's first overseas trip at just three-months-old, their trip to southern Africa in the British autumn will make him the youngest royal to go on an international royal tour.
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