Her Majesty the Queen has reportedly urged grandson Prince William to stop flying helicopters, at least when accompanied by his family over safety concerns, the Queen is said to be “terrified” an accident could happen.
Prince William, 39, is second in line to the throne after his father Prince Charles, 73, so an accident would not only threaten the lives of the royals but the line of succession as well.
While an unwritten rule already prevents senior royals from flying together, it would seem the protocols were relaxed as the Cambridge family grew and they began splitting their time between London and Norfolk.
The Duke of Cambridge has been known to fly his family 115 miles from their London home at Kensington Palace to Anmer Hall in Norfolk.
The Queen’s concerns are justified, as there were two near-misses in one month relating to royal helicopters – the Queen’s Sikorsky S-76 helicopter had a fault and a planned flight was cancelled due to bad weather, leading to a probe being launched.
“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,” states a source close to the Queen herself.
“It keeps the Queen awake at night and she is understandably very worried,” they explain, quite understandably.
“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.”
Her Majesty believes the future is “bright” for the monarchy with William and Kate having risen to the challenge of senior royals in recent years, a sentiment we tend to agree with, and something bad happening to them “doesn’t bear thinking about”.
Prince William along with Kate and their three little royals were seen walking to his helicopter back in May, they often fly together, usually with a crew and pilot but William has been known to get behind the controls in the past.
Having graduated from his RAF training course in 2010, William is qualified as a pilot. He made brave rescues in Sea King helicopters, later qualified as captain in 2012 and was a pilot for East Anglian Air Ambulances from 2015-17.
Reasonably we have no doubt the Prince is a qualified pilot, having said that helicopters are statistically a more dangerous form of travel.
Sophie Wessex had a near-miss in 2017, followed by the Duchess of Cornwall seeing two serious accidents during one flight two years later while flying in the Queen’s helicopter. Firstly having to swiftly veer off course avoiding an aircraft carrying parachutists and then a glider near Highgrove.
Thankfully a review into safety around royal air travel has now been launched by the Civil Aviation Authority.
Rumours are saying that the Cambridges are searching for a house near Windsor so they can be closer to the Queen and education for their little royals, hopefully removing the need for the often helicopter flights.