Queen Elizabeth Is Afraid to Fly by Helicopter, Except When She’s Not

Prince William and the Queen at Royal Week in Scotland, 2021 6 photos
Photo: Instagram / Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Prince William and the Queen at Royal Week in Scotland, 2021Prince William and the Queen at Royal Week in Scotland, 2021Prince William and the Queen at Royal Week in Scotland, 2021Prince William and the Queen at Royal Week in Scotland, 2021The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton
At 95 years old, 69 of which she’s spent on the throne of the United Kingdom, you’d think there are few things that could keep Queen Elizabeth up at night. Flying by helicopter is one of them, according to a recent report.
Several days ago, reports in the British media claimed that Queen Elizabeth was thisclose to banning Prince William, second in line to the throne, from flying by or piloting a helicopter, whether with his family on board or on his own. She deemed the aircraft too unsafe to carry a member of the Royal Family, it was said, and the thought would often lead to sleepless nights for her.

A follow-up in the Daily Mail says that, once the Queen is reunited with the Cambridges, she will “have words” with Prince William about it. As with most remaining royal families, it is the head who calls the shots, and it sounds like the Queen is about to use her position to effectively ban her grandson from flying by helicopter.

She has a very good reason for it, the report continues. The Queen, we’re told, is terrified of the idea of using a helicopter, whether for personal business or Royal engagements. It all goes back to the December 1967 crash that claimed the life of the Captain of the Queen’s Flights and three other passengers. The helicopter in question, a Westland Whirlwind, crashed in Newbury, Berkshire due to “metal fatigue” in the gearbox, and was often used by the Prince Consort, the late Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip.

“It put her off completely,” a Royal insider tells the tab. “That’s why she’s so worried about William and his family.”

The Queen eventually got over her fear of flying by helicopter, because she had no other choice but to: she had engagements to honor and time was not an ally. The report claims that, today, she only does it when no other option for travel is available, and never at night.

For the record, in October this year, the Queen left Windsor in London for her estate in Sandringham because she wanted a change of scenery. She made the 100-mile (161 km) trip by helicopter. Whatever fears or reservations she may have had once about this particular means of transport, they’re probably gone now.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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