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Why Prince William stopped flying with dad Charles, Princess Diana and Prince Harry aged 12

King Charles' former pilot revealed many royal flight secrets on episode 2 of A Right Royal Podcast

Prince Charles and his sons in suits alongside Diana, at an engagement in 1994
Andrea Caamano
Andrea CaamanoWebsite Editor
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Prince William stopped flying alongside his father - then Prince Charles - Princess Diana and his brother Prince Harry when he was just 12 years old, former royal pilot, Graham Laurie, has revealed.

There has long been speculation as to the unwritten rule about heirs to the throne not flying together. Now, speaking on HELLO! Online's A Right Royal Podcast, which you can listen to below, the former pilot has revealed many flight secrets and confirmed when William, then second in line to the throne, began flying in a different aircraft to his family.

Opening up about transporting the family of four to their holidays abroad, Graham spoke about their trips to the Mediterranean, and revealed that at that time they were still flying together.

"The ones I did [holiday flights] mainly were the ones when the Wales' went to the Mediterranean," he told hosts Andrea Caamano and Emmy Griffiths, and HELLO!'s royal editor, Emily Nash.

Prince William pictured at Zurich airport in 1994© Getty
Prince William pictured at Zurich airport in 1994

"But interestingly, we flew all four: the Prince, the Princess, Prince William and Prince Harry, up until when Prince William was 12 years old. After that, he had to have a separate aircraft and we could only fly all four together when they were young with the written permission of Her Majesty."

He continued to explain: "So, what we did in the end, when William became 12, he would fly normally in a 125 from Northolt and we would fly the 146 or the Andover out with the other three on."

Princess Diana and her two young sons coming off a royal plane© Getty
Before he was 12, William could travel alongside his family

 When quizzed about why Prince Charles and Princess Diana made the decision in 1994, he added: "Up until then, they probably thought it will be too much for him travelling on his own. But nevertheless, that's what they did."

Elsewhere in the episode, Graham reveals why Prince Charles stopped piloting planes following a near crash, the trip Prince William was meant to take on the very day his mother Princess Diana died and Princess Anne's surprising favourite airplane meal.

Also joining the hosts, once again, is photographer Julian Calder who details why Balmoral is so different to other royal residences and reveals the surprising shows the late Queen wore under her robes.

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