Ellen DeGeneres defends Meghan Markle, Prince Harry after private jet backlash

Ellen DeGeneres is the latest celebrity to defend the Duke and Duchess of Sussex after the couple was hit by backlash over their use of a private jet.

“[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.”

Markle, 38, and Harry, 34, have been slammed by the British press after photos surfaced of the pair and their son, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor, boarding a private jet to Elton John’s vacation home in Nice, France. The trip comes days after the former “Suits” star and her family returned from a trip to Ibiza to celebrate her birthday.

Markle and Harry are known for being vocal about the effects of climate change and the importance of preserving the planet, which has caused the British press to accuse them of hypocrisy.

John, who was close friends with Harry’s mother, the late Princess Diana of Wales, came forward on social media to reveal that it was he and husband David Furnish who provided the jet.


“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,” tweeted the 72-year-old. “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," continued the Grammy Award-winning artist. “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.”

UK’s Daily Mail previously reported the royals enjoyed four private flights in 11 days.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, poses for photographers upon arrival at the 'Lion King' European premiere in central London, Sunday, July 14, 2019. (Photo by Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP)


They reportedly flew from Farnborough, U.K., to Ibiza, Spain, on Aug. 6, then back on Aug. 12.

On Aug. 14, they flew from Farnborough to Nice, France, to visit Elton 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.

Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex (R), and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, pose for a photo with their newborn baby son in St George's Hall at Windsor Castle in Windsor, west of London on May 8, 2019. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read DOMINIC LIPINSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry greet the press as they debut Baby Sussex. The couple met reporters at Windsor Castle, where they also met with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. (Getty)

Harry gave a speech barefoot earlier this month at Google's secret celebrity summit, saying he and Markle would have, at maximum, two children (including infant son Archie) to prevent environmental harm from climate change.


Harry reportedly took a private jet to the event. The palace hasn’t commented on the trips.

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex smile during a visit to Tupou College in Tonga, Friday, Oct. 26, 2018. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day eleven of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, pool) (ap)

Vanity Fair pointed out that Ibiza, in particular, wasn’t an unusual choice for the former American actress. The outlet shared that Markle used to document her trips to Ibiza on her old Instagram account. Vanity Fair also revealed Harry used to travel to the Balearic Isles on multiple occasions when he was a child in the 1980s.

Earlier this year, Markle sparked controversy when she headed to New York City for a lavish baby shower. The festivities were organized by pal Serena Williams, who booked the penthouse suite of an Upper East Side hotel, The Mark, which features two floors, five bedrooms, four fireplaces, and six bathrooms as well as extensive views of Central Park.


And while Markle used a private jet, which is estimated to have cost over $100,000, Vanity Fair noted that the plane belongs to one of her close friends in Toronto, who covered the cost as a present for the then-expecting royal.

Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, left, attend the opening of the new Mersey Gateway Bridge, in Widnes, northwest England, Thursday, June 14, 2018. (Danny Lawson/PA via AP)

British royal expert Katie Nicholl, who is the author of the book “Harry and Meghan: Life, Loss and Love,” pointed out that while some critics worried that Markle was spending taxpayer funds for the extravagant getaway, it was her friends who footed the bill.

“A lot has been made of how much the shower has cost, but this is not being paid for by the taxpayers, but by her friends, so I really don’t see why anyone should have a problem with it,” Nicholl previously told Fox News. “It is the case that a baby shower is more of an American phenomenon than a British one and I am told Meghan was very keen to have a shower and thrilled that her friends Serena Williams and Amal Clooney offered to host the party. They really pulled out all the stops and made it a fabulous celebration for Meghan.”

“It is a little unfortunate it was so high profile and she was seen flying in and out on a private jet,” said Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine. “But it would have been privately funded and nothing to do with the British taxpayer, so I see no reason for her not to have fun and enjoy it all, which she obviously did.”