Live

Watch CBSN Live

Elton John blasts "malicious" press coverage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's private jet travel

The legendary performer Elton John blasted media Monday for their "distorted and malicious account" of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's recent trips. Some newspapers claimed the royals traveled via private jet four times in 11 days, including a trip to the singer's home in Nice, France, and speculated about Harrys commitment to environmental issues, reports BBC News.

"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," John wrote on Twitter and Instagram on Monday morning.

He explained that Prince Harry's mother, the late Princess Diana, was one of his "dearest friends" and that he feels "a profound sense of obligation" to protect Harry and his family from the "unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana's untimely death."

Diana was killed when a limo she and her boyfriend were traveling in was chased by photographers and crashed in a tunnel in Paris. After her death on August 31, 1997, the relentless photographers that dogged her every move were "accused of literally chasing her to her death," reported CBS News' Randall Pinkston.

John delivered an emotional performance of his hit "Candle in the Wind" at Diana's funeral and has been a longtime ally to the family. He also performed at Harry and Meghan's wedding reception in 2018.

The royals have been no stranger to controversy and press curiosity, with Donald Trump claiming that the American-born Duchess of Sussex was "nasty about" him during his state visit to the U.K. earlier this summer. She has also faced criticism of behaving like a "diva," which those close to her have routinely denied.

John said that after a "hectic year" he and husband David Furnish wanted the royals to "have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquility of our home." And, to ensure the family was protected, the couple "provided them" with a private jet flight.

The legend then set the record straight about the environmental impact the trip actually had. "To support Prince Harry's commitment to the environment, we ensured their flight was carbon neutral, by making the appropriate contribution to Carbon Footprint." The organization provides carbon offsetting services to negate harmful emissions.

Prince Harry has regularly spoken out about climate change in the past, and the couple's Instagram account pledged in a post in June to raise awareness of environmental issues in July. He also said he and Meghan expect to have two children "maximum," citing concerns for the future of the planet. Most recently, Harry visited a leadership gathering for the primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall's youth service organization and posted about it on Instagram.

View CBS News In