Just call me Harry.
That was the message that the man formerly known as Prince Harry seemed keen to telegraph today, as he embarked on the first day of a final round of public engagements as a senior working royal.
“Harry” was the star guest at the Edinburgh launch of Travalyst, a new, environmentally conscious travel initiative that aims to help travelers manage and take responsibility for their carbon footprint and also to choose destinations and resorts that benefit local communities.
Before he took to the stage on Wednesday, host Ayesha Hazarika told delegates: “He’s made it clear that we are all just to call him Harry. So ladies and gentlemen, please give a big, warm, Scottish welcome to Harry.”
The introduction will be taken as a clear sign that Meghan and Harry intend to completely stop using any titles that might link them to royalty, despite a statement on their website this weekend that suggested Harry would not renounce his sixth-place claim on the throne, and that the couple would keep their HRH titles (but not use them).
Harry, 35, arrived in Edinburgh by train Tuesday evening and will return to London later today. On Friday he is due to visit the Abbey Road Studios to record a new song for the Invictus Games with Jon Bon Jovi.
Harry stuck to the script today as he made his speech, saying: “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 endeavors have failed to reach the consciousness of consumers.”
The launch of Travalyst last September was overshadowed by an ongoing controversy about the Sussexes’ use of private jets.
“We believe travel is a good thing. It is the heart of human experience, of cultural connections, and of new friendships,” Harry said. “It is predicted that tourism will reach over 1.8 billion travelers by 2030. If we do not act, and in large part get ahead of this inevitable surge, this massive increase will mean we see more of the world’s beautiful destinations closed or destroyed, more communities becoming overwhelmed, more beaches shut because of pollution, and animals and wildlife driven from their natural habitat.”