A royal expert has suggested that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s recent decision to fly on a budget airline may be the couple’s way of ‘hitting back’ at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Kate and Prince William

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The Duke and Duchess of Sussex came under fire recently after they flew in four private jets in the space of just 11 days for a holiday in Ibiza with baby son Archie and a trip to visit Elton John in France with the tot.

Many fans labelled them hypocritical for travelling in pollution emitting private planes while campaigning about the environment.

Days later, Kate and William were photographed boarding a £73 AirBe flight from Norwich to Aberdeen along with their three children, Prince George, six, Princess Charlotte, four, and Prince Louis, one.

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Now a royal pro has questioned whether the more eco-friendly move could be in retaliation to a recent comment made by Harry in the edition of British Vogue that Meghan edited, in which he stated the pair would have a maximum of two children in order to help protect the environment.

Royal author Phil Dampier said, “The contrast between William, Kate and family travelling on a cheap budget flight to Scotland and Harry and Meghan using private jets couldn’t be starker.

“A cynic might say the Cambridges have done it deliberately, bearing in mind the recent stories about the two brothers and their wives not getting on.

“Harry and Meghan made a point of saying there were only have two ­children to save the planet knowing William and Kate have had three.

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“Could this be William and Kate hitting back?”

Phil, who wrote the book, Royally Suited: Harry and Meghan In Their Own Words, added, “At the very least they know they would have been criticised if they had taken a private jet.”

Despite the backlash from critics, Prince Harry previously proved that he has no problem with flying on commercial airlines.

In May this year he was spotted by eagle-eyed passengers on a British Airways flight from Rome back to London following his trip to Italy for the Sentebale ISPS Handa Polo Cup.

Meanwhile, music legend Elton John took to social media to defend Harry and Meghan following the private jet furore, announcing that he had paid for their flight and insisted it was a carbon-neutral flight as he made an “appropriate contribution” to a carbon footprint fund.