The Cambridges Are on Vacation, But There’s a Rule Against Flying Together

They likely had to receive permission from the Queen to travel as a family.

dublin, ireland march 03 uk out for 28 days prince william, duke of cambridge and princess catherine, duchess of cambridge arrive at dublin airport on march 3, 2020 in dublin, ireland photo by tim rookepoolsamir husseinwireimage
(Image credit: Pool/Samir Hussein)

It’s truly delightful when we get evidence that Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their three children are surprisingly normal. For example, the way they look kind of excitedly stressed as they head out on a secret vacation at Heathrow Airport. (Photos here, and please note Kate’s adorable traveling outfit.)

But then we’re quickly reminded that they’re not like us at all in most other respects. For example, how they’ll head straight to Heathrow’s super luxe Windsor Suites, which were literally designed for royal family members. Or how, as members of the Firm, they aren’t really supposed to travel on the same plane. Seriously.

According to a law that dates back centuries, the royals shouldn’t be traveling together—which means separate planes, cars, and at one point ,presumably, carriages. The reason has to do with protecting the royal lineage: Heirs to the throne can’t travel together in case something tragic should happen on the journey. That’s why the Queen and Prince Charles never travel together, and why William and Charles aren’t supposed to do so either.

So how is this vacation going to work with William and Kate’s three children in tow? According to Express, the Queen is able to grant permission to the family to fly together, and traveling with children has lately been allowed by HRH. When Prince William and Kate brought baby George to New Zealand in 2014, they had to receive special permission to do so. And even with the ability to have an exception, there are only a few precious years left to even do that: As the third in line for the throne, when Prince George turns 12 he’ll have to start traveling on a different plane from Prince William. That’s going to be an intense conversation to have with a 12-year-old.

As for where the family is headed, the trip was not publicly announced so it’s still unknown. We’ll update when we hear more.