LIBBY PURVES: Two heirs going economy is a first class lesson for Meghan and Harry

Oh dear. It had to happen. Just as the world winces at Harry and Meghan taking four private jets in a week while preaching eco-sense to the rest of us, William and Kate are spotted on a budget Flybe flight to Aberdeen.

You couldn’t make it up: Ibiza-sleaze and popstar preening for one pair; for the other, a bleary early morning at Norwich airport.

Some cynically think William and Kate deliberately slummed it to make a point about Harry and Meghan’s showy excess.

The Duke of Cambridge can be seen with his children at Aberdeen airport yesterday

The Duke of Cambridge can be seen with his children at Aberdeen airport yesterday

The Duke of Cambridge can be seen with his children at Aberdeen airport yesterday

Kate Middleton is walking behind her husband and the other children while she holds Louis

Kate Middleton is walking behind her husband and the other children while she holds Louis

Kate Middleton is walking behind her husband and the other children while she holds Louis

After all, the Cambridges have put up with enough sanctimony from the Sussexes of late. Harry’s revelation last month that he and Meghan would only have two children for the sake of the planet must have raised an eyebrow with these parents of three.

As, surely, did Meghan’s pious refusal to be on the cover of Vogue – the September edition of which she has edited – after the obliging Kate was.

Frankly, I don’t think it’s a feud, because I don’t believe Prince William is small-minded enough to risk all those years of fraternal solidarity after the loss of their mother. 

It is perfectly possible that the Cambridges just took a budget flight – as Diana often did –because Norwich airport is small and unfussy, and it is exactly the kind of thing their friends do as they migrate from Norfolk beaches to the posh Scottish season of bracing walks and midge-bites.

A stock image of a FlyBe EMB145EU plane which will be similar to the one used by Prince William and his wife

A stock image of a FlyBe EMB145EU plane which will be similar to the one used by Prince William and his wife

A stock image of a FlyBe EMB145EU plane which will be similar to the one used by Prince William and his wife

If the long royal legs are a bit cramped, never mind: why act self-important when you’re heading for the throne eventually?

The awful thing is that Harry and Meghan are getting it so disastrously wrong only a year after public delight at their wedding.

Their attitude screams Hollywood entitlement: the public must pay for an opulent home refurbishment, but not see the christening or know the godparents’ names.

There’s Meghan’s carefully-curated list of good-looking charity ‘trailblazers’, not to mention the gimmicky Instagrams.

No sooner were the public praising the Cambridges’ budget flight yesterday than the Sussex account was updated with a tray of self-help cupcakes – ‘Stay Strong’, the mottos on the miniature sponges cried. And, that’s before we get to the private jets.

A graphic showing the various flight's undertaken by Prince Harry and wife Meghan in recent weeks

A graphic showing the various flight's undertaken by Prince Harry and wife Meghan in recent weeks

A graphic showing the various flight’s undertaken by Prince Harry and wife Meghan in recent weeks

To preach global environmentalism and then accept a holiday courtesy of Elton John, with private jet flights thrown in, is misguided to say the least. 

Add to that Elton’s huffy protestations that their polluting travel is vital for ‘a high level of much-needed protection’ – and his dig that anyone who raises an eyebrow is being ‘malicious’ – and the overblown self-importance grows.

But wait! Actress Jameela Jamil then trumps even that by crying racism, and ridiculously tweeting ‘ALSO, it’s not safe for us to be on the same planes as royals or presidents you absolute muppets’. 

She believes that her royal pals are ‘prime targets for kidnap and sometimes assassination… It’s in the interest of us civilians to not be endangered by proximity to people in such powerful positions’.

What better way to collapse this whole inflated bag of piffle than for William and Kate to hop on an early morning budget flight – two future kings in economy, Jameela! – dragging his children’s irritating backpacks with his sacred royal hands, as the nation smiles in recognition.

Prince Harry and Meghan are pictured stepping on board a private jet on Saturday

Prince Harry and Meghan are pictured stepping on board a private jet on Saturday

The couple had arrived in France three days earlier

The couple had arrived in France three days earlier

Prince Harry and Meghan are pictured stepping on board a private jet on Saturday, having arrived in France three days earlier

Just as we do every Christmas when the Queen catches the ordinary old train to King’s Lynn. But the smile fades, because although the contrast with the Sussexes’ lordly behaviour is quite funny, some of us are getting worried.

We loved Harry: our decent, brave soldier prince, playing strip-billiards and handsomely apologising for ‘too much army and not enough prince’.

We watched him opening up about his childhood grief, falling in love with Africa, then at last finding the right girlfriend. Rarely has any senior royal had such a bank of amused, admiring affection to draw on. Yet within a year, a lot has been squandered.

It’s not racism, as idiots like Jamil say: the wedding was popular and so was the pregnancy until the lavish baby shower made us wince.  

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s private jet

The Cessna Sovereign Plane

The Cessna Sovereign Plane

The Cessna Sovereign Plane

Make of the plane: Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign

Top speed: 592 mph

Menu: Anything you want

Number of seats: 12

Other amenities: Plush seats, huge bathrooms, personal television monitors and LED lighting with a dimmer switch

Price for their flight: Around £20,000 

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s private jet

The Cessna Sovereign Plane

The Cessna Sovereign Plane

The Cessna Sovereign Plane

Make of the plane: Cessna 680 Citation Sovereign

Top speed: 592 mph

Menu: Anything you want

Number of seats: 12

Other amenities: Plush seats, huge bathrooms, personal television monitors and LED lighting with a dimmer switch

Price for their flight: Around £20,000 

What grates is the sense that the couple seem to want an A-list life of extravagance without A-list talents. 

They combine defensive privacy with neurotic image-management, lining up with every ‘woke’ cause with minimal inconvenience to themselves.

They have before them the example of a careful, tactful, wartime-frugal Queen with her Tupperware cereal boxes and two-bar fires at Balmoral, always understanding that the regalia and pomp are not about her but what she dutifully represents.

They also have the Awful Warning of Harry’s Uncle Andrew and Auntie Fergie: a pair who demonstrate with effortless ease what happens to your reputation and the prestige of the monarchy when you hang out with billionaires and sycophantic star-seekers, and take expensive favours off them.

The impression that Harry and Meghan genuinely don’t ‘get it’ is disturbing. They must be offered input from Palace advisers (in the age of Andrew and Harry, is there any ghastlier career path than royal-adviser?).

To discount every criticism as racist or malicious is more unfair to us than we’ve ever been to them. A largely royalist nation wants to like them. They’re not making it easy.

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