After a very full-on year of pandemic life, home schooling and work (see: Prince William's recent climate change project, the Earthshot Prize, coming to fruition), the Cambridge family have reportedly jetted off on a half-term holiday. Reports say that the Duke and Duchess were spotted at Heathrow airport earlier this week, bags in tow, with their three children – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.
However, it sounds as though whilst the family are able to enjoy a flight together at the moment, that could soon to change (well, when George turns 12)... thanks to an old school royal rule. The ruling dictates that senior members of the Royal Family are typically restricted from flying together unless they have obtained permission from the Queen.
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The logic as to why? It's all about protecting the future of the monarchy. If there was – God forbid – to be a plane crash resulting in the death of both Prince George and Prince William, that would mean the second and third in line to the throne would both have passed away.
If that were to ever happen, Princess Charlotte would become second in line to the throne, after her grandfather, Prince Charles.
It's because of this rule that other royals are also steered away from travelling together on board a plane: Prince Charles and Prince William are not permitted to travel together unless given permission, and Prince Charles is also restricted from travelling with his mother, the Queen.
When speaking about the Cambridge's 2014 trip to Australia and New Zealand, which saw a then-baby George accompany his parents abroad, the Royal Family’s press office told Newsround: "They [William and Kate] had to ask the Queen for permission [to bring Prince George on the tour], but she said yes. 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."
This isn't the only mandate that the royals are encouraged to abide by when travelling overseas either – following the death of the Queen's father, King George VI, whilst she was away in Kenya, they are now all encouraged to pack a black, sombre outfit too, just in case the worst should happen.
It's reported that once Her Majesty's plane touched down, she had to wait for an appropriate dress to be rushed up to her on board the aircraft, before disembarking and facing the awaiting press and general public.
Here's hoping the Cambridges are enjoying their well-deserved break as a family.
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