Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were labelled "hypocrites" by their critics for travelling in private jets and gas-guzzling SUVs during their New York trip where they talked about climate change. Just weeks after the controversial tour, the couple claimed that they have "actively made choices to offset and balance their carbon footprint," both before and after they got together.

The Duke and the Duchess of Sussex also pledged that their charitable foundation Archewell will "reach net zero carbon emissions" within the next decade. They updated the mission statement on Archewell's website to read that they will work with an "independent consultant to track all Archewell-related activities" from inception, including internet use, commutes, and electricity and home offices, to "understand our collective footprint."

"As global leaders convene for COP26 to commit to solutions for our climate crisis, all of us at Archewell, led by The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, share our pledge towards a more sustainable future by becoming net zero by 2030," the statement read.

It added that their independent consultant would use 2022 as the baseline year to develop a plan that would align with the "latest guidance from leading organizations, like the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol and Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), while offsetting remaining emissions until we achieve net zero in 2030 and beyond." The foundation would also "leverage the expertise" of Travalyst, a sustainable non-profit tourism organisation founded by Prince Harry, and the sustainable investing platform Ethic that he and Meghan recently backed.

The couple's new mission statement in relation to COP26 comes just days after Queen Elizabeth II failed to mention them in her deeply personal speech at the event. The monarch applauded her late husband Prince Philip, her eldest son Prince Charles and grandson Prince William for their work for the environment, but made no reference to Harry and Meghan's awareness campaigns about green issues.

"It is a source of great pride to me that the leading role my husband played in encouraging people to protect our fragile planet lives on through the work of our eldest son Charles and his eldest son William. I could not be more proud of them," the 95-year-old said.

Royal watchers dubbed it a snub by the monarch towards the financially-independent royal couple. Body language expert Judi James explained, "The glaring omission of Harry's name on this list will probably be discussed but the Queen seems emphatic about the chain of eldest to eldest being remarkable. She even adds 'I could not be more proud of them' to make this one of the most emotional public messages ever from the Queen."

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle called for vaccine access to be treated as a human right during the Global Citizen Live festival in Central Park on September 25, 2021 in New York City AFP / Angela Weiss AFP / Angela Weiss