Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been embroiled in another controversy, this time related to Air Force One, the presidential plane of the United States.
According to the ‘Daily Mail’, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex allegedly requested the use of Air Force One to fly from England to the United States.
Harry and Meghan: the Air Force One request and his rejection
Recent reports revealed that Harry and Meghan made a formal request to the White House, requesting Air Force One to facilitate their return to the United States after attending Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral.
However, their request was quickly rejected by the White House, with sources citing concerns over strained relations between the Sussexes and the British royal family.
Had the request been accepted it could have caused tensions between the Biden administration and the British monarchy.
“It would have caused such a commotion. It would have strained relations with the Palace and the new King,” the source added.
According to reports, White House officials were well aware of the delicate situation surrounding the couple’s position within the royal circle, leading them to deny the privilege of flying on Air Force One.
Biden’s used the presidential plane to attend the Queen’s funeral and also participated in a reception for world leaders and foreign royals that was hosted by King Charles prior to the funeral, which was held on September 19, 2022.
As published by the British newspaper, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex intended to use the presidential plane as part of a campaign to gain political influence in the United States.
Rejected invitations and delicate relationships
The recent denial of the Sussexes’ request to use Air Force One is not the only instance in which they faced refusal from the Biden administration.
Another occasion involved an invitation extended to First Lady Dr. Jill Biden to attend the Invictus Games in The Hague in April 2022.
The Biden couple’s advisors recommended against attending the event due to the delicate situation surrounding Prince Harry’s departure from his institutional role within the British Royal Family.
His decision to retire from royal duties and subsequent tensions with the royal family led to a cautious approach by the Biden administration to engage with the couple.
The Sussexes remain silent
Currently, neither the British Royal Palace, the White House nor a spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have commented on the reports.
The absence of a response has prompted speculation that the claims about the Air Force One request may have some truth to them. The Sussexes’ PR team has a reputation for quickly denying damaging information, adding credibility to reports of the rejected request.
The Sussexes’ use of private flights
Since 2019, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have faced criticism for their use of private flights, despite publicly championing climate change causes.
The couple received intense scrutiny when they took four private flights in a single week, drawing heavy criticism from both the public and the media.
Despite attempts to mitigate the environmental impact by claiming that donations were made to offset the carbon footprint generated by their flights, public scrutiny did not abate.
The repeated use of private jets, known for their significant environmental impact, tarnishes the Sussexes’ reputation and seems to contradict their stance as champions of environmental issues.