He’s just Harry! The Duke of Sussex stepped out for one of his final royal engagements on Wednesday, February 26, where he decided to forgo his royal title. Before taking to the stage to deliver a speech at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre, host Ayesha Hazarika told the audience: "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."
Meghan Markle’s husband attended the summit in Scotland to support his global eco-travel initiative, Travalyst, which he launched last year. The royal partnered with Booking.com, Skyscanner, Tripadvisor, Trip.com and Visa for the project. According to Sussex Royal, the founding partners are working with the Duke, “backed up by consumer demand, 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.” In his remarks, the royal dad of one said, “Tourism is one of the world’s largest economic sectors – generating nearly 9 trillion dollars globally each year – representing 1 in 10 jobs and more than 10% of the world's GDP – and, it is rapidly growing. It is predicted that tourism will reach over 1.8 billion travellers 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, which has a huge impact on communities and reduces tourism opportunities,” he continued. "But we are here to find ways to make sure that does not happen. We all see a future where people are able to take holidays and trips that have social, environmental and economic benefits to communities and destinations built-in. Based on our research, there is an increasing desire for these types of trips – and we want to make them a reality for everyone, but we can't do it without your help."
To mark Harry’s outing on Wednesday, Sussex Royal shared a social media post writing, “The Duke of Sussex is in Scotland – one of the world’s fastest growing tourist destinations - to hear what they’re doing to put sustainability at the forefront of holidays that protect the environment and support local communities.” The account added, “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.”
Harry was spotted arriving via train to Edinburgh on Tuesday evening after returning to London. The Sussexes, along with their son Archie Harrison, have been renting a mansion on Vancouver Island in Canada since they left the UK following their decision to step back from royal duties. Meghan and Harry’s royal engagements will officially come to an end on March 31. Like her husband, the Duchess is due to return to the UK to carry out her final string of engagements. It was recently announced that the pair will cease to use “Sussex Royal” post-spring. Under the terms of their agreement with the Queen, Harry and Meghan will no longer be working members of the royal family and won’t receive public funding.