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Kate Middleton reportedly turned down a free first class upgrade years before Harry and Meghan were criticized for flying by private jet

  • The Duchess of Cambridge is said to have declined a free first class upgrade back when she was dating Prince William.
  • A British Airways source told The Telegraph that Kate Middleton was “so down to earth” during her flight to Mustique back in 2008 — four years before she married William.
  • Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were recently criticized for flying by private jet to Elton John’s home in the South of France after urging fans to be aware of climate change.
  • However, John later revealed that he paid for the trip to be carbon neutral.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Kate Middleton is said to have turned down a free first class upgrade worth $8,500 back when she was dating Prince William.

In a report by The Telegraph dating back to 2008, the Duchess of Cambridge traveled on a British Airways flight to Mustique for a vacation with William when she was approached by the cabin crew.

Read more: Ellen DeGeneres, Pink, and Elton John are defending Meghan Markle and Prince Harry for traveling by private jet. Here’s everything you need to know.

A British Airways source told the publication it was the first time a passenger had declined the offer.

“She may be dating the future king but she’s so down to earth,” said the source.

“It’s the first time we have had a passenger turn down the chance of an upgrade.”

The airline could not confirm the reports to Insider due to data protection: “We don’t ever share details relating to the travel of the Royal Family, or any of our customers.

“Their data is very much protected and private, it’s one of the reasons people choose to fly with us.”

If the reports are true, however, the cabin crew member who offered the upgrade could have been breaking company protocol.

Former flight attendant Shawn Kathleen, who runs the popular Instagram account, “Passenger Shaming,” previously told Business Insider that “there’s no special treatment” for celebrities.

When asked if it’s typical for A-listers to be offered an upgrade, she said: “I haven’t seen it happen, but then I haven’t seen many celebrities book a coach seat.

“I’ve seen a couple of celebrities sit in the back, [if they’re] B-list or something, and they want to save money, but no, there’s no special treatment.”

Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011.
AP

Read more: 18 times Kate Middleton looked like a real-life Disney princess

The Telegraph’s source added that Middleton asked the crew: “Please call me Kate.”

Middleton’s behavior seems a stark contrast to her brother and sister-in-law’s, who were criticized for flying by private jet three times in the past month.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been accused of hypocrisy due to their outspoken support of environmentalism. In a recent interview with British Vogue, for instance, Harry urged readers to leave “something better behind for the next generation.”

Prince Harry was first said to have flown privately to attend Google Camp, an annual “meeting of the minds” event in Sicily, where he reportedly delivered a speech on climate change.

Then, Harry and Meghan traveled by private jet again to Ibiza, for a vacation in a resort nicknamed the “billionaire’s playground,” before flying to Elton John’s mansion in Nice.

Read more: Elton John said he paid for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s private jet to be made carbon neutral when they visited him in France, but it probably only cost $135

John later confirmed that he paid for the couple’s private jet to his home in the South of France, and he made sure the aircraft was carbon neutral.

“I am deeply distressed by today’s distorted and malicious account in the press surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s private stay at my home in Nice last week,” John wrote in an Instagram post.

“Prince Harry’s Mother, Diana Princess Of Wales was one of my dearest friends. I feel a profound sense of obligation to protect Harry and his family from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana’s untimely death.”

He added: “After a hectic year continuing their hard work and dedication to charity, David and I wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquility of our home.”

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