‘The only thing worse than a liar is a liar that’s also a hypocrite,’ cautioned the great American playwright Tennessee Williams.
He might have been talking about Prince Harry after the sixth in line to the British throne’s latest ridiculous display of two-faced, disingenuous planet-saving drivel.
It’s almost beyond parody that ‘every footprint counts’ Harry would respond to all the negative press surrounding his recent orgy of private jet use by flying to Holland to lecture us all yet again about how to protect the environment.
Yet there he was, back at his favorite preaching pulpit, banging on about the urgent need for all of us to stop damaging the ozone layer with our horribly selfish carbonated boots.
Honestly, as I watched Harry’s stern-faced sermon, my mind went back to all those U.S. pastors from Jim Bakker to Ted Haggard who raged away about sins of the flesh whilst simultaneously partaking in the same sins with Biblical scale enthusiasm.
I’ve no idea who’s advising him at the moment, or rather whose advice he’s listening to – though I can hazard a pretty good guess it’s someone in very close proximity to his royal boudoir speaking in an American accent – but he’s getting it horribly wrong.
And it’s not just the stinking hypocrisy that’s so problematic, it’s the way he’s begun telling outright falsehoods to justify his hypocrisy.
When he was pressed to explain why he uses fuel-guzzling private jets all the time if he cares so much about the environment, Harry point blank lied.
‘I spend 99% of my life travelling the world by commercial,’ he retorted, clearly irritated by the impertinence of the question.
Yet we know this is absolute nonsense.
A new DailyMail.com investigation revealed that since his wedding to Meghan Markle 15 months ago, six of Harry’s ten known return trips have been on private jets. That’s 60%, meaning he’s flown commercially just 40% of the time.
Then he came up with another whopper to try to excuse this practice-the-opposite-of-what-I-preach behavior.
‘Occasionally,’ he said, ‘there needs to be an opportunity (to fly privately) based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe. It’s as simple as that.’
Is it though, Harry?
Did you really accept a free ride on Elton John’s private plane to the South of France last month because you were worried about the safety of your family, or because you just fancied a more luxurious mode of travel?
After all, the day after this trip was uncovered, Prince William and his entire family flew on budget airline Flybe to Scotland.
William, as someone who will be King, is a far higher security risk than Harry, yet doesn’t seem to have any concerns about using commercial planes for his family.
And nor should he. The boys’ mother Princess Diana was the biggest star on the planet but almost invariably flew with British Airways and never had any security issues.
By coincidence, I flew from London to Nice with BA the week Harry and Meghan flew on Elton Airlines, and it’s really very easy; a brief 90-minute flight to a small, heavily secured airport with plenty of ways for the airline’s world class special services department to get celebrity passengers on and off the plane with minimal fuss.
Indeed, on another occasion last year when I flew back from Nice, Brad Pitt jumped on the flight at the last minute – on his own – and nobody bothered him.
So Harry’s safety fears are completely bogus, and he knows it.
Then came the Prince’s final absurd self-justifying claim, that he always ‘offsets’ his carbon footprint with donations to renewable energy incentives and planting trees.
‘It’s about balance,’ he atoned. ‘It’s not a decision I would want to take, but if I have to do that, I will ensure that I balance out the impact that I have.’
Even that was a fib.
Elton said HE made a donation on Harry’s behalf after they used his plane.
But regardless, this whole ‘offset’ excuse is frankly pathetic.
It’s like saying you’re going to buy more milk after spilling a bottle, it doesn’t change the fact you spilled it in the first place.
Super-rich stars think they can buy their way out of anything, but when it comes to protecting the environment, they should practice what they preach, not pay for the breach.
And this is my real problem with Harry’s environmental evangelism.
I don’t actually give a damn if he wants to use private jets, or, as he also likes to do, helicopters for short journeys that could be done by car.
He’s a member of the royal family, and I expect them to lead privileged lives with all the trappings of wealth that go with it.
That’s the deal for all the tourism they attract, and the myriad public duties they perform.
But there’s an unspoken rule with the royals that they don’t rub our noses in their vast riches by being unnecessarily ostentatious, and that they don’t lecture us all about how to lead our lives if they’re leading the opposite lifestyle in private.
The Queen has been a master of this delicate balancing act for six decades, and a perfect role model for other royals to follow.
She understands very well that the Monarchy only survives through the goodwill and support of the people.
Once that’s gone, there’s no Monarchy, as we’ve seen all over Europe during the past century.
Harry and Meghan were engulfed with huge goodwill and support throughout their courtship and wedding.
But since then, they’ve chipped away at that incredibly positive public opinion with a series of disastrously self-harming moves.
From refusing to release details of their son Archie’s birth, to getting security at Wimbledon to stop people taking pictures, they’ve shown a worrying tendency to want their cake and eat it.
They want the public to pay millions to refurbish their palatial home Frogmore Cottage, but don’t want to share basic uncontroversial aspects of their life with the public.
Worse, they want to be the first ‘woke’ royals – using their status as a platform to regularly dictate to us how we should live our lives, whether it’s demanding we stop using social media so much or instructing us to curb our flying – as they themselves bombard us with endless social media posts, and use private jets like taxis.
I get why Meghan doesn’t see the problem with all this, it’s a familiar hypocritical trait in many big Hollywood stars and she clearly hasn’t grasped what royal duty means yet, and is now finding out the hard way.
(To make matters worse, she’s reportedly just hired her old U.S. PR firm to improve her image, which is a recipe for yet more fiascos. She needs to listen to wise Palace advisors, not a bunch of LA publicists, presumably funded from her and Harry’s grandiose new Foundation, who have zero idea what the royal family is really about.)
But I’m increasingly aghast that Harry’s falling into the same trap.
He knows how the royal game is played; he’s grown up in it all his life.
And he must surely see that this current ‘do as we say, not as we do’ strategy is going down like a lead balloon?
If not, someone should tell him sharpish.
In his army days, he was known as Hero Harry.
Now he’s fast becoming Hypocrite Harry.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Piers Morgan