Prince Harry is back on UK soil as he and wife Meghan prepare to carry out their final engagements as senior members of the British royal family, and the Duke of Sussex took the stage during an event last night to deliver a speech.
While the prince attended the Travalyst summit in Edinburgh to launch the sustainable travel company’s next phase of work. However, while he discussed the need to transform the future of tourism and growth of ecotourism, it was his insistence that people simply “call him Harry” that set tongues wagging.
Seemingly referencing the recent drama surrounding the Sussexes transition to a new life away from the royal spotlight, Harry had apparently insisted on being introduced by his first name only.
“He’s made it clear that we are all just to call him Harry,” event host Ayesha Hazarika, who was tasked with introducing the duke, said. “So ladies and gentlemen please give a big, warm Scottish welcome to Harry.”
View this post on Instagram
In Scotland today, The Duke of Sussex and Travalyst have hosted a summit to launch their next phase of work, putting communities first, with a mission to create a more sustainable tourism industry. • “We are a coalition of partners with a shared goal to transform the future of tourism and travel for everyone – to give people access to better information and ensure the future development of tourism positively supports the destinations that the industry relies on, and that their communities depend on. We believe travel is a good thing. It is the heart of human experience, of cultural connections and of new friendships.” – The Duke of Sussex Travalyst is working to build a future where people are able to take holidays and trips that have social, environmental and economic benefits to communities and destinations built in. There is an increasing desire for these types of trips – and we want to make them a reality for everyone. At today’s summit in Edinburgh, representatives from across the Scottish tourism sector discussed the need to encourage and incentivise sustainable practices across the supply chain, in a way that meets the needs of consumers who want more clarity on how to choose more sustainable options. Image © PA / SussexRoyal
During his speech, Harry said: “We are a coalition of partners with a shared goal to transform the future of tourism and travel for everyone – to give people access to better information and ensure the future development of tourism positively supports the destinations that the industry relies on, and that their communities depend on.
“We believe travel is a good thing. It is the heart of human experience, of cultural connections and of new friendships.”
Harry’s appearance in Scotland comes after much controversy surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes use of the term ‘royal’ in their future branding. Last week, as the details of the ‘Megxit’ deal between the couple and Buckingham Palace were finalised, it emerged that Harry’s grandmother the Queen was banning the couple from promoting themselves as royal moving forward.
However the couple, who are currently based on Vancouver Island, Canada, with their young son Archie, then hit back with a statement of their own, which triggered a backlash from people, including Meghan’s own father, who thought they were being “petulant” and “insulting the Queen”.
A statement on their Sussex Royal website read: “There is not any jurisdiction by the monarchy or Cabinet Office over the use of the word ‘royal’ overseas.”
Harry, whose wife Meghan is expected to join him in the United Kingdom later this week, has a series of events lined up before the terms of their agreement to step back from royal life comes into full effect on April 1. The prince will join singer Jon Bon Jovi at a recording session on Friday, as the ‘Livin’ On A Prayer’ hitmaker is re-recording his song ‘Unbroken’ with the Invictus Games Choir.
Both the duke and duchess are then expected to make an appearance at the Endeavour Fund Awards on March 5, which recognises wounded, injured and sick service personnel and veterans who have used sport as part of their recovery. Prince Harry is then due to attend the official opening of the Silverstone Experience on March 6, and the couple will attend the Mountbatten Music Festival at the Royal Albert Hall the following day.