Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and children fly to Scotland via £73 Flybe flight after royal private jet row

Hannah Furness
The Cambridge family on tour in Germany, 2017 - WireImage

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their three children have flown to Scotland on a budget airline for their annual holiday with the Queen, days after their brother and sister-in-law were criticised for using private jets

The Cambridge family travelled to Balmoral via a FlyBe flight, where advance tickets cost £73.

Accompanied by the children’s nanny, they are expected to visit the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh at Balmoral for their annual summer break in the Scottish highlands. 

Spotted by members of the public as they walked with their luggage across the tarmac, the family are believed to have been travelling from their Norfolk home at Anmer where they have been spending part of the school holidays. 

The decision to fly with Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis on the low-cost airline, which came to light after members of the public photographed them, was immediately noted by royal-watchers. 

A spokesman for Kensington Palace said: “All travel arrangements for members of the Royal Family take into consideration security, efficiency, cost and effective use of time.”

A train ticket from Norwich to Aberdeen costs £178.50.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have this week faced heavy criticism for using private jets for four flights in the space of 11 days as they holidayed in Ibiza and Nice, despite their public commitment to the environment.

Prince Harry is also reported to have flown privately to Google Camp in Sicily, where he delivered a bare-foot speech about climate change.

Celebrity friends of the couple have defended their decisions, with Sir Elton John, who paid for the trip to Nice, saying the private jet allowed the Sussexes and their baby son to “maintain a high level of much-needed protection".

Actress Jameela Jamil, who wrote about body image for an issue of British Vogue guest edited by the Duchess, claimed that the public would face a serious security risk if they flew on planes with the Duke and Duchess, tweeting: "It's not safe for us to be on the same planes as royals or presidents you absolute muppets.

"They are prime targets for kidnap and sometimes assassination.

A FlyBe aircraft Credit: Getty

"It's in the interest of us civilians to not be endangered by proximity to people in such powerful positions."

Both the Cambridges and Sussexes have used both private and commercial flights in the past. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex flew with Qantas for a long-haul journey to Australia for their first tour as a married couple, and joined members of the public on Royal Air Maroc for their trip to Morocco in the spring. 

Prince William and Prince Harry have regularly used economy airlines for short-haul flights, spotted on Easyjet, Ryanair, Wizz Air and FlyBe as well as British Airways. 

Previous trips to Balmoral have seen the Cambridges fly commercially to Aberdeen on several occasions, including with the wider Middleton family and, according to the Sunday Express, use a private plane once in 2015. 

This summer, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and children also had a holiday in Mustique, with sources saying only that the costs of their flight were “met by them”. 

The Duke of York was photographed leaving Scotland on a private plane earlier this week. 

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are also expected to visit Scotland with Archie Mountbatten-Windsor in August, but have not been photographed making the journey yet. 

Following criticism of their travel plans, the Duchess of Sussex used Instagram to tell followers of her work behind-the-scenes, sharing a video of her hugging women at charity Smartworks and “shining a light” on favourite London shop the Luminary Bakery. 

The SussexRoyal Instagram account shared an image of cupcakes bearing the mantras "Stay strong", "You are enough", "You are worthy" and "You are so loved", which appeared to have been inspired by the messages she wrote for sex workers on bananas before her maternity leave. 

In a quote posted alongside the image, the Duchess described it as a "space for baking, healing and rebuilding" and disclosed she had secretly visited the bakery.