Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘ignored advice NOT to take private jet’ and it ‘came back to bite them badly’ – The Sun

MEGHAN Markle and Prince Harry caused a huge backlash when they took four private jets in just 11 days over the summer.

And now it's emerged the Duke of Sussex, 35, was warned not to fly privately to the Google climate change summit in Sicily in July, but ignored his PR's advice.

The Mail on Sunday reported: "Aides warned Harry against taking a private flight to Sicily to attend a Google climate change conference.

"The Prince ignored the guidance and got on the plane. ‘It came back to bite him – badly,’ a source said."

Just a week after the Google summit, the couple flew by private jet to celebrate Meghan's 38th birthday in Ibiza, and then to holiday at Elton John's £15 million south of France mansion with baby Archie, now four months.

The move led to the climate change conscious prince being labelled a "hypocrite" by outspoken TV host Piers Morgan, when he launched a sustainable travel initiative just weeks later.

At the launch of his eco-tourism project, Harry claimed he was forced to use private jets to "protect his family", despite flying to Sicily alone.

To make matters worse, his brother Prince William, Kate Middleton and the kids were pictured dragging their suitcases to a budget FlyBe flight around the same time.

Following this wave of negative attention, Meghan and Harry realised their royal tour in Africa was a "make or break" trip, according to sources.

One insider said: "All royal tours are traditionally fantastic opportunities to generate positive publicity, but this one really matters."

A week into the 10-day trip, it's clear public perception of the Sussexes has started to change.

It helps, the Mail's sources add, that the royals are "really listening" to advice from those around them.

They've acquired a "formidable" personal assistant for Meghan, called Maria, and a new press officer, poached from the Cambridges.

Sources also claimed Meghan wanted to do more solo engagements in South Africa, while Harry travelled to Angola and Malawi, but was advised against "overshadowing" her husband.

The warm reception to the Duke and Duchess' "informal and unorthodox" royal tour is a far cry from some of the stories earlier this year.

These included rumours Meghan is "difficult" to work for, staff resignations and a supposed feud with the Cambridges.

Meghan's £300,000 New York baby shower, full of celebrity guests, and their £2.5 million Frogmore Cottage refurbishment didn't help matters.

Although the Africa trip has done wonders for their PR, the past year will have taught the Sussexes that no good image is indestructible.

They will have to plan carefully to protect their re-established popularity.

Last night, we revealed how Meghan is trying to win hearts with ‘carefully crafted humble image’ on the royal tour.

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