Elton John defends Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from ‘malicious’ press attacks

Elton John in sunglasses/ Prince Harry holding Meghan Markle's hand

Elton John has defended Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s use of a private jet, saying that he feels a “profound sense of obligation” towards the couple.

Over the weekend it was reported that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had flown by private jet to John’s south of France home with their son Archie.

The trip came under heavy criticism, with several tabloids labelling the royals hypocrites due to their recent comments on environmentalism.

In a surprise intervention, John hit back at the “distorted and malicious” accounts of the trip, which he said had caused him deep distress.

“Prince Harry’s mother, Diana, Princess Of Wales was one of my dearest friends,” he wrote on social media.

“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.”

Diana, Princess Of Wales was one of my dearest friends.

John said that he and his husband David Furnish invited the Sussexes to their home to relax, “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 tranquility of our home,” he continued.

“To maintain a high level of much-needed protection, we provided them with a private jet flight.”

To support the couple’s commitment to the environment, John and Furnish paid for carbon offsetting.

“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 concluded.

Elton John and Princess Diana were close friends

John was a close friend of Prince Harry’s late mother, Diana, who throughout her life was an ally to LGBT+ people.

The princess did much work to end the stigma around HIV/AIDS. She famously broke protocol by shaking hands with gay men who were living with the disease without wearing gloves, challenging the then common belief that HIV could be transmitted through touch.

Elton John and Princess Diana at a service for the late Gianni Versace.

Elton John and Princess Diana at a service for the late Gianni Versace. (Getty)

“AIDS was considered to be a gay disease. For someone who was within the Royal Family and who was a woman, and who was straight, to have someone care from the other side, was an incredible gift,” John said in a 2017 ITV documentary about Diana.

In recent years, Harry has continued his mother’s legacy, celebrating Pride and offering his support to the trans youth charity Mermaids.

In 2018, Harry and John announced that they would continue Diana’s work by launching a partnership aimed at ending new HIV transmissions between men.