Meghan Markle and Prince Harry face new green row over Range Rovers shipped from UK to southern Africa for their 10-day tour
- 4x4s drafted in because Palace couldn’t locally obtain secure enough cars
- Vehicles offered by Jaguar Land Rover and shipped at no cost to taxpayer
- Couple were criticised in August for flying by private jet four times in 11 days
Published: 17:04, 1 October 2019 | Updated: 21:40, 1 October 2019
Range Rovers have been shipped from the UK to southern Africa for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex‘s ten-day tour, it was revealed today.
The 4x4s were drafted in because organisers at the Palace were unable to locally obtain secure enough vehicles suitable for Harry, Meghan and baby Archie.
The cars for the trip were understood to have been offered by Jaguar Land Rover, and were transported at no cost to the taxpayer, the Press Association reports.
But the shipping of the cars over a 10,000-mile distance will raise further eyebrows over the couple’s green credentials despite them promoting environmental issues.
The manufacturer has provided vehicles for the royal family for decades, including on foreign visits, despite numerous firms in South Africa offering luxury armoured Land Rovers to rent locally.
The Duchess of Sussex walks from a UK-registered Range Rover as she arrives to visit the University of Johannesburg in South Africa today, on day nine of the royal tour of Africa
Meghan was pictured arriving in a British-registered blue Range Rover during her visit to the University of Johannesburg, South Africa, this morning.
Harry and Meghan were criticised in August for flying by private jet four times in 11 days, rather than going commercial, despite speaking out on environmental issues.
The Duke has previously said that he would have a maximum of two children due to his concerns about climate change.
The 4x4s have been drafted in for the trip to southern Africa because organisers were unable to locally obtain cars suitable for Harry, Meghan and baby Archie
Speaking in British Vogue in August, Harry said: ‘What we need to remind everybody is: These are things that are happening now. We are already living in it.
‘We are the frog in the water and it’s already been brought to the boil. Which is terrifying.’
In September, Harry defended the couple’s ‘occasional’ private flights and said they were necessary to keep his family safe.
He said during a visit to Amsterdam: ‘If I have to do that, it is not a decision that I want to take, but if I have to do that, then I will ensure, as I have done previously, and as I will continue to make sure that I do, that I balance out that impact that I have.’
Land Rover has provided vehicles for the royal family for decades, including on foreign visits
He added: ‘I have always offset my CO2. I think part of the group discussion that we had earlier is ‘what is offsetting CO2′.’
The couple flew with Archie on a scheduled flight to South Africa with a 14-strong entourage, including their nanny and a hairdresser, both paid for by the couple.
They have faced flak over alleged ‘hypocrisy’ after taking a series of trips by private jet while campaigning on green issues.
Carjacking is at epidemic levels in South Africa, and Palace officials will have been at pains to ensure the safety of the couple while touring the country.
The Duchess of Sussex arrives to visit the University of Johannesburg in South Africa today
Armoured vehicles are big business in the country which sees nearly 50 hijackings a day, and people spend up to £80,000 bullet-proofing their vehicles.
Vehicle armouring firm Amormax has warned hijackers with AK47s are switching from lead core to steel core bullets, which can pierce through conventional armour.
The company, which generally deals with rich clients, has added that hijackers are now taking motorists with them to prevent them from reporting the incident.
Jaguar Land Rover and the Palace have both been contacted for comment.
The Duke of Sussex visits the Mauwa Health Centre in Blantyre, Malawi, on the royal tour today