Gayle King defends Meghan Markle and Prince Harry amid private plane fiasco
Singer Elton John reveals he paid for a recent private flight for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle after the couple is accused of climate change hypocrisy.
The "CBS This Morning" host told Entertainment Tonight on Friday that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are "entitled to go on vacation."
"Elton John offered to fly them on his private plane to his private home. Elton John also said that he had paid the cost of the carbon footprint for whatever was taken up in that and so the fact that they are being hammered because they took a friend’s private plane who took care of all the costs is ridiculous to me," she said.
"Do you think any of the royals are flying commercial on a regular basis? I'll go first. No. So why are Meghan and Harry being singled out? I just think people think that they are easy targets," King continued.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend "The Lion King" European Premiere (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
"I think people don't really appreciate and understand what the two of them have together. And I think, dare I say, that people are a little jealous out there and there are a lot of haters out there, but what I hope is that it doesn’t change them, because they are both trying to do good in the world, want to do good in the world and they are really good people," she said.
"But I think it's silly that they are under attack for doing something and being criticized when they did nothing wrong. So it sort of makes me gnash my teeth to powder, to be honest with you," King added.
The Daily Mail reported that Prince Harry, 34, and Duchess Meghan, 38, have enjoyed four private flights in just 11 days.
They reportedly flew from Farnborough, England to Ibiza, Spain, on Aug. 6, then back on Aug. 12.
On Aug. 14, they flew from Farnborough to Nice, France, to visit pal John, then back to Farnborough on Aug. 17.
The couple is believed to have taken a Gulfstream 200, which seats 19 people, to Ibiza from Farnborough, and a Cessna 500 XL, which seats nine, on their return trip.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex ride by carriage down the Mall during Trooping The Colour (Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
People magazine reported the royal family of five was seen exiting from the economy FlyBe plane, which was heading from Norwich to Aberdeen.
John, 73, says he paid for the private flights out of concern for the Sussexes' safety.
“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 tweeted. “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 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 Prince Harry’s commitment to the environment, we ensured 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."
TV show host Ellen DeGeneres also defended the royal couple.
“[My wife] Portia and I met Prince Harry and Meghan [Markle] in England to talk about their work on wildlife conservation,” the 61-year-old tweeted on Monday alongside a photo of the couple.
“They were the most down-to-earth, compassionate people,” the talk show host continued. “Imagine being attacked for everything you do, when all you’re trying to do is make the world better.”
Fox News' Jessica Sager and Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this report.