Royal travel: The Cambridges jet off for half term – but why can they not fly together?

Queen’s diary under ‘careful scrutiny’ says royal correspondent

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The Royal Family must adhere to many seemingly strange rules in order to protect the royal lineage. One frankly unusual travel rule means often senior members of the Royal Family are not permitted to fly together unless they request permission directly from the Queen in advance. As the Cambridge family undertake a holiday abroad, many royal watchers are keen to know if the family were permitted to fly together or not.

Prince William, Kate Duchess of Cambridge and their three children were spotted at Heathrow Airport last week preparing for a half-term getaway.

The royals were seen outside the Windsor Suite, which is reserved for the Royal Family and other high profile celebrities, with Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six and Prince Louis, three.

The Duke of Cambridge drove the family to the airport escorted by security.

Photographs taken at the airport showed the Cambridges wearing huge smiles as they unloaded their luggage outside the airport.

The Cambridge family’s intended destination is unknown.

Many have speculated the Cambridges could be on their way to Greece for the wedding of Princess Diana’s godson Prince Philippos and Nina Flohr.

Typically the family are best known for undertaking domestic holidays to locations such as the Isles of Scilly, Lake District and their Norfolk home, Anmer Hall.

The royals were joined by their nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo at the airport.

The royals have undertaken several holidays together including royal tours to Canada, Poland and Germany.

However, the Cambridge family will soon be unable to travel together as a family due to an ancient rule protecting the future of the monarchy.

When Prince George turns 12, he will be required to fly separately from his father.

The reason is because both Prince William and Prince George are currently second and third in line to the throne respectively which means as per royal tradition they must travel separately in the event something tragic happens en route.

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This rule also means Prince Charles and Prince William are also forbidden from flying together – and Prince Charles cannot fly with his mother, the Queen.

In the past, the Cambridges have flown with their children.

Prince William was granted special permission from the Queen to bend these rules when his son was nine months old and the family travelled to Australia and New Zealand in 2014.

In addition, the Queen granted permission to the couple in September 2016, when they travelled with Prince George and Princess Charlotte to Canada.

The Cambridges flew together again during a tour to Poland and Germany in July 2017 – taking a total of three flights together.

However, the Cambridge couple has not always asked for an exception to the rule.

In December 2014, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge travelled to New York.

Instead of taking their young son, he remained at home with his nanny and grandmother Carole Middleton.

Prince William is not technically allowed to travel with any of his children given their high position on the line of succession.

The Royal Family’s press office told Newsround: “They had to ask the Queen for permission, but she said yes.

“While there is no official rule on this, and royal heirs have travelled together in the past, it is something that the Queen has the final say on.”

The Queen has reportedly been inspired to allow the Cambridges to break this rule previously because aviation has become increasingly safe over the past several decades.

But it is likely to be a difficult decision for the Queen given her paternal cousin Prince William of Gloucester died during a plane crash.

He died, aged 30 in 1972, in an air crash while piloting his plane in a competition.

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