Travelers heading to Scotland got a major surprise when they saw the future King of England and his royal family disembarking from the same flight.
People magazine reported Thursday that stunned passengers saw the royal family of five exiting from the economy FlyBe plane, which was heading from Norwich to Aberdeen. Prince William and his wife, Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, were seen getting into awaiting cars with their children — Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis — along with their longtime nanny Maria Teresa Turrion Borrallo, and heading to Balmoral, Queen Elizabeth II’s summer retreat.
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William, 37, was carrying some of his bags with some help from George, 6, while Charlotte happily followed them. Middleton, 37, carried Louis, 1, in her arms as she walked alongside Borrallo.
“Earlier in the flight I’d had the feeling that someone had come on the plane that I’d recognized — but I thought it was just a footballer,” a passenger told The Sun. “We landed, and people then saw two black Range Rovers on the tarmac.”
“Suddenly, Will, Kate, and the kids all got up, and left,” the passenger continued. “They weren’t harassed by anyone at all as they got off the plane. They just seemed like a family traveling together, to be honest. No one saw them get on the plane either. It was amazing how they did it — they must have slipped on quietly after people were already seated.”
The family’s trip comes just days after Meghan Markle and her husband, Prince Harry, were slammed by the British press over their use of private jets, despite their professed commitments to fighting global climate change.
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The Daily Mail previously reported that Harry, 34, and Markle, Duchess of Sussex, 38, have enjoyed four private flights in 11 days.
They reportedly flew from Farnborough, U.K., to Ibiza, Spain, on Aug. 6, then back on Aug. 12.
On Aug. 14, they flew from Farnborough to Nice, France, to visit pal Elton John, then back to Farnborough on Aug. 17.
The couple is believed to have taken a Gulfstream 200, which seats 19 people, to Ibiza from Farnborough, and a Cessna 500 XL, which seats nine, on their return trip.
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John, 73, said he paid for the private flights out of concern for the Sussexes’ safety.
“I am deeply distressed by today’s distorted and malicious account in the press surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s private stay at my home in Nice last week,” he tweeted. “Prince Harry’s Mother, Diana Princess Of Wales, was one of my dearest friends. I feel a profound sense of obligation to protect Harry and his family from the unnecessary press intrusion that contributed to Diana’s untimely death.”
“After a hectic year continuing their hard work and dedication to charity, David and I wanted the young family to have a private holiday inside the safety and tranquility of our home,” he continued. “To maintain a high level of much-needed protection, we provided them with a private jet flight. To support Prince Harry’s commitment to the environment, we ensured their flight was carbon neutral, by making the appropriate contribution to Carbon Footprint™. I highly respect and applaud both Harry and Meghan’s commitment to charity and I’m calling on the press to cease these relentless and untrue assassinations on their character that are spuriously crafted on an almost daily basis.”
Prince Harry gave a speech barefoot earlier this month at Google’s secret celebrity summit, saying he and Duchess Meghan would have, at maximum, two children (including infant son Archie) to prevent environmental harm from climate change.
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The palace hasn’t commented on the trips.
Vanity Fair pointed out that Ibiza, in particular, wasn’t an unusual choice for the former American actress. The outlet noted that Markle used to document her trips to Ibiza on her old Instagram account. Vanity Fair also revealed Harry used to travel to the Balearic Isles on multiple occasions when he was a child in the 1980s.