Across the papers this weekend, news broke that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were enjoying a holiday in the South of France to visit family friend Elton John. While royal jaunts to fabulous haunts are nothing new—see Prince William and Kate Middleton’s recent vacation to Mustique or the annual pilgrimage to the grand castle of Balmoral—the couple received some blowback for flying there on a private jet. Many pointed out the potential hypocrisy of the couple, who are ardent environmental advocates, using such a fuel-wasting method.
However John has now come to the couple’s defense on social media, saying that he paid for the jet and also took the necessary measures to compensate for the impact on the environment.
“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,” he wrote on Instagram and Twitter. “David and I wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquility of our home. To maintain a high level of much-needed protection, we provided them with a private jet flight. To support Prince Harry’s commitment to the environment, we ensured their flight was carbon neutral.”
John also referred to Harry’s late mother and his close confidante, Princess Diana. “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.”
The singer closed his statement by commenting on the tabloid treatment of Harry and Meghan in general: “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 wrote.
It’s said the couple is now back in the United Kingdom after their French journey.
Originally Appeared on Vogue