Harry and Meghan share new Sussex Royal Instagram post to mark duke's return to UK

Harriet Brewis
Prince Harry and Meghan: AFP via Getty Images

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have celebrated Harry's return to the UK with a fresh Instagram post.

The Sussex Royal message features five iconic images of Scotland, hailing it as "one of the world’s fastest growing tourist destinations."

The lengthy caption hails Harry's arrival in the country, saying he is there to hear what Scots are doing "to put sustainability at the forefront of holidays that protect the environment and support local communities."

It came as he welcomed delegates to an event in the capital Edinburgh – his first public event in Britain since announcing his plan to step back from royal duties.

He and wife Meghan have been in Canada with their son Archie for several weeks but the duke touched down in the UK on Tuesday.

Early photos from Wednesday's event showed Harry embracing attendees and taking to the stage to address the summit, organised by his sustainable tourism project Travalyst.

The duke founded the eco-friendly travel coalition last autumn, along with brands including Booking.com, Skyscanner, Tripadvisor, Trip.com and Visa.

Its aim, according to this morning's Instagram post, is "to transform travel and tourism globally so that every holiday people take, every trip they book, can have a positive impact on the destinations they visit."

Duke of Sussex intoduced on stage as just Harry 

The Sussex Royal message reads: "The number of tourists globally is rapidly rising, and based on an increasing desire from travellers, The Duke’s international partnership Travalyst is working to ensure the industry can better support communities that face increasing challenges of overcrowding, pollution, and the climate emergency.

"Supporting these communities means preserving these destinations for everyone.

"By harnessing the power of travel, which accounts for 1 in 10 jobs globally, generating newly $9 trillion annually, and is at the heart of connecting people and culture, tourism can lead the way in supporting communities and protecting the environment.

"At a summit in Edinburgh, representatives from the Scottish tourism and travel sector will join event partners Visit Scotland the Energy Innovation Centre (EIC) to help test and develop the latest work."

Harry beamed happily as he entered the conference in Edinburgh (PA)

 

Beginning his speech on Wednesday, the duke –praised Scotland for being "at the forefront" of making the sector greener, saying it could set an example for the rest of the UK and world.

He said: “We have to work together… to scale up the good practices already being used around the world. Scotland is a great example of what we mean.

“There is a holistic ambition to Scotland’s intent that can be adopted across the UK and even around the world."

Speaking on behalf of Travalyst, he added: “We want to hear truths and perspectives from across the industry. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel, a lot of great work has already been done.

“But our research again shows that many of these endeavours have failed to reach the conscientiousness of consumers.”

Harry launched Travalyst in Amsterdam last September.

The duke told delegates 'we have to work together' (PA)

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”.

Ahead of Wednesday's 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.