Prince Harry makes first appearance since bombshell biography claims to urge the travel industry to ‘build back better’ in a speech for a virtual summit for his sustainable tourism project Travalyst
- Prince Harry made his first appearance since biography extracts were published
- Delivered a speech at virtual summit for his sustainable tourism project Travalyst
- Duke of Sussex, 35, urged travel industry to ‘build back better’ after Covid-19
- Claims published in Sussexes’ biography Finding Freedom have caused a stir
The Duke of Sussex has made his first appearance since claims from his bombshell biography were published.
Prince Harry, 35, appeared via video link from Los Angeles today to deliver the opening speech at a virtual global summit for his sustainable tourism project Travalyst.
In the address, the royal urged the travel industry to ‘build back better’ after Covid-19, saying it has a ‘responsibility’ to reshape the way we travel.
Prince Harry, 35, appeared via video link from Los Angeles today to deliver the opening speech at a virtual global summit for his sustainable tourism project Travalyst
It is the first time Harry has been seen since the Sussexes’ biography, Finding Freedom, was serialised by The Times and The Sunday Times. The book lays bare the rift between Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and the rest of the royal family.
It is thought he spoke live from Los Angeles late on Wednesday night to coincide with the start of the first summit session, which started at 7am BST.
He said in his opening speech: ‘Many of you joining us today rely on visitors for your livelihoods.
‘Businesses are hurting significantly, and I’ve heard from some of you who are currently struggling to put food on your family’s tables and make ends meet because there are no tourists and therefore no income.
‘We need to build back – but we need to build back better. And that means there’s a responsibility, a responsibility we cannot avoid or dismiss, for us to reshape this industry in a way that benefits everyone and everything for decades to come.’
He continued: ‘Before the pandemic unfolded we witnessed more and more young people expressing an interest in authentic travel experiences and an ability to partake in trips that are greener, that allow them to support local communities, uphold heritage and protect destinations and cultures.
His speech came after claims were published at the weekend from Finding Freedom
‘This is the future of travel, and a future that Travalyst is here to support and catalyse.’
Harry launched Travalyst last autumn, co-founding it with leading brands Booking.com, Skyscanner, Tripadvisor, Trip.com and Visa, and it now operates as an independent non-profit organisation based in the UK.
Finding Freedom authors Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand claim relations between the Sussexes and the Cambridges grew so bitter that by March the couples were barely speaking.
Scobie and Duran they have spoken to more than 100 sources including ‘close friends of Harry and Meghan’s, royal aides and palace staff (past and present)’, with all the information in the book having ‘at least two sources.’
The Duke and Duchess deny giving any interviews or contributing to the book directly, but the intimate nature of some details raises questions over who the sources were – and whether Harry and Megan gave them their blessing before they revealed such closely guarded insights to the couple’s private lives.
The explosive biography has claimed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘hurt’ the Queen by unilaterally mapping out their future royal roles without her approval.
Her Majesty is said to have been ‘blindsided’ by the launch of the SussexRoyal website which accompanied their Megxit announcement in January.
There are also fears the book’s publication could spark a fresh rift within the royal family.
The duke, who now lives in Los Angeles with Meghan and their son Archie after the couple stepped down as working royals, made no mention of the book’s publication when he spoke at the virtual summit.
The Duke of Sussex has urged the travel industry to ‘build back better’ after Covid-19 as he made his first public appearance since a series of royal revelations were published. He spoke at a virtual summit for his sustainable travel project Travalyst. Pictured, at an event in February