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Queen Elizabeth Returns to Windsor Castle by Private Helicopter

Despite the fact that this is not her personal favorite means of travel, Queen Elizabeth left her Sandringham estate in favor of Windsor Castle in a private helicopter.
Queen Elizabeth's Private Helicopter 6 photos
Rolls-Royce Phantom IVQueen Elizabeth in Bentley State LimousineBentley State LimousineQueen Elizabeth's Range RoverPrince William in a Helicopter
Her Majesty the Queen celebrated her 96th birthday on April 21. She didn’t host a big party, though, and opted for quiet celebrations with visits from her family and close friends. The official celebrations will be held in June, for her Platinum Jubilee. The same day, she was seen enjoying the nice weather in the passenger’s seat of her third-gen Range Rover.

Queen Elizabeth has driven most of her life, but, in recent months, reports claim she has been suffering from mobility issues that prevent her from getting behind the wheel herself. But that doesn’t stop her from enjoying her possessions.

After a one-week stay at Sandringham estate in Norfolk, the Queen returned to Windsor Castle on April 27. It takes around three hours to drive from Sandringham Estate to Windsor Castle. The Queen decided to save time and fly there.

Before takeoff, she was seen in the back seat of a Range Rover. The aircraft she usually flies in is a Sikorsky S-76C with The Queen’s Helicopter Flight team from the Royal Household.

The Queen has been flying in a Sikorsky since 1998. The first one, registered as G-XXEA, entered her service on December 21, 1998, and it was a maroon, twin-engine helicopter, fitted with only six seats for more comfort on board.

On November 4, 2009, Sikorsky announced the delivery of a new S-76C++ chopper that will be part of The Queen’s Helicopter Flight. Registered as G-XXEB, the new aircraft could reach a maximum speed of 178 mph (286 kph) and a range of 400 mi (640 km), with a 30-minute fuel reserve.

There have been reports that Her Majesty fears flying, and she even thought of banning Prince William, who is a successor to the throne, from flying in them, too.

The Queen’s fear of flying goes back to December 1967, when a Westland Whirlwind helicopter crashed in Newbury, Berkshire, claiming the life of the Captain of the Queen’s Flights, plus three other passengers. But Her Majesty simply had to get over her fear and carry on with her official engagements and has been seen using a helicopter on multiple occasions.

Editor's note: Gallery includes the Queen's preferred means of travel: cars


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