When Prince William and Kate Middleton flew their children to Scotland last week, it sparked a lot of headlines – largely because they decided to fly on a budget commercial flight just days after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle faced criticism for using multiple private jets. There have been rumours of a Cambridge-Sussex royal feud for months, with some claiming that Kate and Meghan have fallen out, others claiming that it has something to do with baby Archie Harrison, and some fans believing that the rift is between William and Harry.
Considering that William and Kate have used private jets in the past and Harry is often spotted on commercial flights, it probably means – well – nothing.
However, there is something very interesting about the Cambridge family’s decision to fly together. All five of them – William, Kate, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Price Louis – hopped aboard the FlyBe plane to Scotland to spend some of the summer with Queen Elizabeth II at Balmoral.
But according to royal protocol, two royal heirs must not travel together in order to protect the royal lineage. While it isn’t an official rule, it has been followed by generations in case of anything should happen en route to their destination.
William is second in line to the throne, George is third, Charlotte is fourth and Louis is fifth. This essentially means that there are four heirs travelling together, so surely the Cambridges are really breaking the rules here?
Apparently, they’re allowed to travel as a family as they have a special royal pardon. Following the birth of George in 2013, William asked his grandmother to lift the ban on heirs travelling together. When the Queen agreed, baby George was permitted to visit Australia and New Zealand with his parents in 2014, and when Charlotte was born the Cambridges continued to fly as a family.
A BBC reporter previously said: ‘While there is no official rule on this, and royal heirs have travelled together in the past, it is something that the Queen has the final say on.’