Prince Charles accused of ‘staggering hypocrisy’ as plane flies 125 miles to pick him up

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Critics say Prince Charles should have taken an electric vehicle to the Voyager aircraft’s usual home, RAF Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire rather than it being flown to Suffolk

Just last month Prince Charles said we all had to reduce emissions urgently at COP26 but critics say he should reduce his own first
Just last month Prince Charles said we all had to reduce emissions urgently at COP26

Prince Charles has been accused of being full of hot air on climate change – after a plane flew 125 miles to pick him up.

Critics say it undermines Charles’ Cop26 proclamation last month when he told the world: “We have to reduce emissions urgently.

“We have to put ourselves on what might be called a war-like footing. We know what we must do.”

The heir to the throne could have reduced his own impact on the planet by taking his electric vehicle to the Voyager aircraft’s usual home, RAF Brize Norton, in Oxfordshire.

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The voyager, an Airbus A330 also used by senior Government ministers, is the first RAF plane to run on the “sustainable” option
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PA)

Instead it was flown to RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, nearer Sandringham, ahead of Charles’ trip for a ceremony removing the Queen as head of state.

It saved him just two hours of driving time.

Graham Smith of campaign group Republic accused Charles of “staggering hypocrisy” and called the flight a waste of taxpayers’ money and RAF resources.

Matt Finch, of Transport & Environment, added: “For long distances we can’t avoid air travel, but for domestic travel, anyone should avoid flying and use other forms of transport.”

Prince Charles attends a ceremony in Bridgetown Barbados to mark the transition of Barbados to a republic
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Daily Mirror/Ian Vogler)

Charles, who has previously urged all of his staff to cycle to work, has championed the use of biofuels blended with normal aviation fuel as a transitional step towards creating carbon-free flight.

The voyager, an Airbus A330 also used by senior Government ministers, is the first RAF plane to run on the “sustainable” option, but critics say it is still very harmful to the environment.

Barbados removed Queen Elizabeth as head of state and Prince Charles attended the ceremony
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Getty Images)

His plane ride saved him just two hours driving time
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Getty Images)

Manufacturers claim it can cut a plane’s carbon emissions by up to 80 per cent, over its life cycle.

But it is mixed with conventional jet fuel and scientists are unclear on how green it is.

The prince is often driven to royal engagements in an all-electric Jaguar I-Pace SUV. And he also owns an Aston Martin DB6, which he has said is powered by “surplus English white wine and whey from the cheese process”.

Prince Charles has been criticised by a campaign group for taking the flight
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Getty Images)

He was accused of ‘staggering hypocrisy’
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Getty Images)

Last month, Charles spoke of his passion for environmental issues during Cop26 in Glasgow and said world leaders need to do more than “just talk”, as he admitted he himself had been doing for the past 40 years.

Today a Clarence House spokesman said: “The prince has campaigned for a shift towards sustainable aviation fuel as air travel is a crucial part of his work.

“As a result, this autumn the RAF introduced for the first time sustainable fuel and deployed it for this trip.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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