The Cambridges Are Apparently in Hot Water with the Queen Right Now

A royal expert says Prince William and Kate Middleton defied orders from Her Majesty about using helicopters as a mode of transport.

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Marie Claire has reported in the past that Prince William’s use of helicopters as a mode of transportation—especially when he brings his wife, Kate Middleton, and their three children with him—terrifies the Queen. As many royals, including the Queen herself, set off for their annual summer holiday, the five Cambridges (and their pup, Orla) left Kensington Palace on Monday for their own vacation, and boarded a helicopter to get there. This, according to a royal expert, defied orders from the Queen—and upon the Cambridges’ return from holiday, William and Kate are likely to be summoned to speak with Her Majesty about their decision.

Neil Sean cited a previous report in The Daily Mail that claimed the Queen had “spoken rather firmly to William about this and urged him to give up flying in the helicopter altogether” for safety reasons, The Express reports.

“It looks like Prince William and Catherine have defied orders from the Queen,” Sean says. “This week they were seen boarding a helicopter in the back area of Kensington Palace as they enjoy a short holiday. This left the Queen concerned. It is a royal protocol for people to travel in separate aircraft for very obvious safety reasons. Apparently, the Queen spoke rather firmly to William about this. But on this occasion, perhaps it slipped his mind. When Prince William and Catherine return back from their short break, they will be summoned to Windsor to explain the cause of their actions.”

According to The Express, some reports have claimed that William did, in fact, ask for permission from his grandmother before flying. The royal protocol of members of the royal family—specifically two heirs, as both Prince William and his eldest son, Prince George, are—not flying together makes sense for obvious reasons: to protect the future of the monarchy. This rule can currently be overridden with permission from the Queen up to a point, but, when George turns 12—in just three years’ time—he will no longer be able to fly alongside his father, with no exceptions (not even from Her Majesty).

“In order to protect the heirs to the throne, it is a rule that two or more heirs to the throne cannot travel in the same plane,” The Express reports. “In the event that a plane carrying several heirs crashed, the future of the monarchy would be immediately unstable. While George is currently treated the same as other members of the royal family—and can travel with his family following permission from the Queen—once he turns 12, he will be required to fly separately from his father. William is not permitted to travel with Prince Charles, and the Prince of Wales is also restricted from traveling with his mother.”

While, thankfully, plane crashes are less common today, the Queen’s husband Prince Philip lost his sister, Princess Cecile, in a plane crash in 1937. The Queen’s uncle, Prince George, Duke of Kent died in a plane crash in 1942, and her cousin, Prince William of Gloucester, died while competing in an air show in 1972.

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.