Prince Harry to host first UK event since Canada move with eco-friendly tourism launch in Edinburgh

Harriet Brewis
Prince Harry will return to the UK to host a Travelyst conference: REUTERS

The Duke of Sussex is to host his first public event in the UK since stepping down as a senior royal at a summit for sustainable tourism.

Harry will travel to Edinburgh next Wednesday for the Travalyst event, which is at the start of a busy 13-day period for the duke and wife Meghan.

During his time back on British soil Harry will also meet with Jon Bon Jovi, with whom he exchanged a series of comic pun-filled messages on Thursday.

The rock star is recording a single in aid of the royal’s Invictus Games Foundation.

Harry launched the eco-friendly Travalyst project in Amsterdam last Autumn.

At the time he and Meghan faced mounting criticism for reportedly taking four private jet journeys in 11 days during the summer – in apparent contradiction with their commitment to supporting the environment.

But Harry defended his use of private planes, saying he spent “99 per cent of my life” using commercial flights but occasionally needed to ensure “my family are safe”.

At Wednesday’s conference, he and his Travalyst team will stress-test new ideas with the travel industry, including the creation of an online scoring system to gauge the ecological

Travalyst was founded by the duke together with leading brands – Booking.com, Skyscanner, Tripadvisor, Trip.com and Visa – and the partnership has invited around 100 people from the tourist and travel industry in Scotland to join the working summit.

A spokesman for the organisation said: “Our ambition is to transform travel and tourism so that every holiday people take, every trip they book, will have a positive impact and better protect the destinations and communities they visit.

“Whether it is through the activities people do, where they stay, or how they get there, we are looking for ways to make it easier for everyone to choose, and for the industry to provide, more purposeful and sustainable options.”

The duke and duchess’s lives as working royals will end on March 31 when they stop representing the Queen and become financially independent.

Harry and Megan will embark on a new chapter in North America but sources have stressed they “will be in the United Kingdom regularly” and retain the same charitable goals supporting causes from the Commonwealth to mental health.

The couple plunged the royal family into a period of crisis when they announced earlier in the year they wanted to step back from their positions as senior royals and become financially independent.

A summit of senior royals was convened by the Queen at Sandringham to discuss the issue, with Harry sitting down for talks with his grandmother, father the Prince of Wales and brother the Duke of Cambridge.

It was later announced they would no longer be working members of the monarchy, split their time between Canada and the UK, with the majority spent in North America, and no longer be known as HRH.

The remaining issue is how will the couple earn an income without being accused of trading on their position as members of the royal family, and who will pay for their round-the-clock security.

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