Elton John took a shot at the British media and demanded they back off his friends as he defended and explained recent private-jet travel by Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
The socially conscious royals have recently taken mini-breaks to Nice, France, and the island of Ibiza, racking up a number of private flights in less than two weeks. Not a great look — but the ‘Tiny Dancer’ singer still was incensed by coverage of his late friend Princess Diana’s son.
“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,” John wrote Monday on social media.
“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.”
While it’s unclear which account the ‘Candle in the Wind’ performer was referring to, the British tabloid the Sun touted an “exclusive” Saturday with the headline, “DUMBO JET: ‘Eco-warriors’ Meghan Markle and Prince Harry fly on private jet again to France after gas-guzzling Ibiza trip.” That story was in turn picked up by other outlets.
The royal couple reportedly took four private flights in 11 days, according to various accounts out of Britain, including to a luxury stay in Ibiza (Meghan’s 38th birthday was August 4) and then the trip to France.
However, John said that he and husband David Furnish had provided the couple with their private jet to Nice because they “wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquillity of our home” after a year of charity work. Because the prince is concerned with the climate, the singer said he and Furnish gave money to Carbon Footprint to make sure the flight was carbon neutral.
John ended his message with a demand on behalf of the young royals.
“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 said.
Given the nature of the British press, that’s unlikely to happen any time soon.
Later in the day, Ellen DeGeneres chimed in on social media with more thoughts about Harry and Meghan, writing about the time she and wife Portia de Rossi met them in England to discuss wildlife conservation.
“They were the most down-to-earth, compassionate people,” the talk-show host wrote. “Imagine being attacked for everything you do, when all you’re trying to do is make the world better.”