It Won’t Be Long Before Prince George Can No Longer Travel With the Rest of His Family—A Firm Rule to Avoid the Collapse of the Monarchy

For example, Prince William hasn’t flown on a plane with King Charles or Prince Harry since 1994.

Prince William and Prince George
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Now that Prince George has turned 10 (he reached the milestone age in July), The Daily Express reports that his father, Prince William, will soon revive an ancient royal travel rule that ensures the survival of the monarchy should calamity strike while en route somewhere.

The Wales family of five—William, George, the Princess of Wales, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis—often travel together, either by plane or car, to locations at home in the U.K. or abroad. Case in point? Last Friday evening, the family traveled together to Kate’s “Together at Christmas” carol concert at Westminster Abbey. That seems normal enough, but, when you’re royal, life is—how shall we say?—a bit different. God forbid an accident happened (may it never be so), the first, second, third, and fourth in line to the British throne would be gone, and the continuity of the monarchy would be in jeopardy. (No. 5, 6, and 7 in line are Prince Harry, Prince Archie, and Princess Lilibet, respectively; none are working royals, and all live in the U.S. Next up after them is No. 8—Prince Andrew, also not a working royal. You get the point.)

Catherine, Princess of Wales, Prince Louis of Wales, Princess Charlotte of Wales, Prince William, Prince of Wales and Prince George of Wales process out of The "Together At Christmas" Carol Service

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The late Queen Elizabeth established a convention that meant the first in the British line of succession (so, William) should travel separately from his other family members. The Daily Express reports that “William is set to revive the convention championed by his late grandmother, which requires him to make his own travel arrangements, separate to those of his family.” Annoying? Yes. Necessary? Also yes—and why King Charles and William never travel together, and why Queen Elizabeth and Charles never traveled together while she was still alive.

As a child, William used to fly in the same planes as Harry and their mother, Princess Diana, with prior written permission from Queen Elizabeth, said Graham Laurie, Charles’ former pilot, on his podcast “A Right Royal Podcast.” However, from the age of 12 onwards, William had to travel separately from the rest of his family and hasn’t boarded a flight with Charles or Harry since. (William turned 12 in 1994, nearly 30 years ago.)

Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry at Balmoral

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince Harry at Balmoral

(Image credit: Getty Images)

William had to get permission from Her late Majesty before traveling with George on a tour of Australia and New Zealand in 2014, when George was just nine months old.

William will likely begin traveling solo imminently, and when George turns 12 in less than two years’ time (July 22, 2025, to be exact), he will be required to travel separately from other members of the royal family—with no exemptions.

“The safety protocol should help avoid any unlikely tragedy from occurring,” The Daily Express reports. 

Prince William and Prince George at an event

(Image credit: Getty)
Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.