The Windsors all love to travel by private helicopter. It’s not just the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, although it often feels like they travel almost exclusively by helicopter. Prince Charles flies on private planes and helicopters constantly, and the Queen hasn’t traveled by train in several years. It’s a bad look for all of them, especially supposed “environmentalists” like Charles and William. You would think that the Queen would have understood the terrible optics years ago and ordered her heirs to stop using the helicopters so much. But apparently she’s fine with the optics. The thing that worries her is the idea that William’s helicopter could go down. According to the Sun, the Queen has “urged” William to stop flying so much:
The Queen has urged Prince William to stop flying in helicopters with wife Kate and their children amid safety fears. Her Majesty is said to be “terrified” disaster could strike – threatening the succession. A source close to the 95-year-old monarch revealed she raised concerns with the future king, saying she is “terrified” disaster could strike.
An unwritten rule stops senior royals from flying together. But the protocol has been relaxed as William’s family grew and began to split their time between London and Norfolk. A change in the line of succession could elevate Prince Harry, 37, and Meghan, 40, to the throne — after the pair quit royal duty for life in California. The Queen had several conversations with William who has previously flown his family the 115 miles from Kensington Palace to their home at Anmer Hall, Norfolk.
A source close to the Queen — who lost Prince Philip at age 99 in April — said: “Her Majesty has told close friends and courtiers that she would like William to stop flying himself, particularly in bad weather, as helicopters are not the safest form of transport. It keeps the Queen awake at night and she is understandably very worried. She knows William is a capable pilot but does not think it is worth the risk for all five of them to carry on flying together and can’t imagine what would happen. It would spark a constitutional crisis.”
“The Queen has told William she is worried that, however good he is as a pilot, bad weather and accidents can strike at any time. The Queen is delighted in the way William and Kate have risen to the challenge in recent years and knows the monarchy is safe in their hands. She thinks the future is bright with them at the helm after Charles but if something happened to him and the family it doesn’t bear thinking about.”
Mobile phone footage shot in May shows Wills walking hand-in-hand with his three children and wife to a helicopter at Kensington Palace. They often fly together in a chopper crewed by a team and a pilot. But William — who was loaned a Bell 429 GlobalRanger aircraft in April — is also known to get behind the controls when family members are on board.
[From The Sun]
The Sun also has an accounting of how much these royal flights cost – around $2.8 million a year – and how William and Kate have their own helicopter for their own use. What I didn’t know is that in the past decade, there have been a number of close-calls with other royals, including the Countess of Wessex, the Duchess of Cornwall and the Queen herself. Inclement weather, technical malfunctions and diverted helicopters, there are a bunch of stories like that. I honestly didn’t know that William sometimes pilots his helicopter with his family in the back? That’s dangerous as hell and I would not trust him as a pilot whatsoever. But yeah, I doubt any of them are going to change anything. They didn’t change anything when the optics look bad, why would they stop because the line of succession is on the line? There’s also a lot of hand-wringing about “what happens if Harry and Meghan are the new heirs”… like, Salt Island should be so lucky.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.
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