Kate Middleton takes £3,000 helicopter, Queen Elizabeth takes £55 train for same trip

Kate Middleton takes £3,000 helicopter, Queen Elizabeth takes £55 train for same trip

Since the British press is making this comparison, I thought I would bring it up as well. As we learned yesterday, Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, took a helicopter from London to Norfolk on Sunday after her first official engagement of the year attending a service and reception to mark the 75th anniversary year of the Air Cadets, of which Kate is now Patron. On Monday, February 8, Queen Elizabeth made the trip from Norfolk to London via train after an extended holiday break. 34 year old Kate took a helicopter, while 89 year old Liz took a train.

The Queen always stays at Sandringham from just before Christmas to after February 6, Accession Day, the day she became Queen after her father, George VI, died in 1952. In recent years, the Queen has made it a habit of traveling between London and Norfolk by train. Yesterday, HM made the 1 hour 44 minute trip in a first class cordoned off carriage section of the Great Northern 1054 service which cost a whopping £54.90.

Kate, on the other hand, made the trip in a Queen’s Helicopter Flight which is estimated to have cost the taxpayer £3,000. For reference, Kate arrived at the Air Cadets event at about 11:00 AM London time and left at about 1:00 PM London time. By helicopter, the 110-mile journey would take 45 minutes; by train, the trip is 1 hour 44 minutes; and, according to Google Maps, by car the trip is about 2 hours 30 minutes. So by helicopter, train, or car, Kate could have been home by 4:00 PM at the latest (allowing Kate time to change after the event, which she did). So plenty of time to get home for dinner with the kids.

Kate flying to Norfolk Feb 2016
[Instagram: @wearfore_by_ng and @rainbowceline]

A Kensington Palace spokesman said: “The Royal Household makes careful decisions about transport plans and always seeks to travel in the most appropriate way possible considering the arrangements for an official engagement.”

According to the rules for funding official travel, members of the Royal Family are allowed to take helicopter flights between residences, and Kate was going to an official engagement (though the helicopters can be used for any reason to travel between residences, not just official engagements).

Devil’s advocate: The Queen is almost 90, she’s getting more fragile, she may not feel as comfortable flying in helicopters, so taking the train may have been about comfort rather than cost. Kate is younger, doesn’t mind taking a helicopter, needed to get home as quickly as possible to be with the kids, most “normal” commuters would take the quickest way home possible (as long as they don’t have to foot the bill, or course). The helicopter is already leased for the year, so they might as well use it.

BUT, ponder this, if the Cambridge family were living full time in their £6 million-renovated Kensington Palace apartment, Kate would have already been in London for her London-based official engagement, meaning no need for travel at all. Meaning the press wouldn’t have brought up the cost of her trip. Meaning no one would have had anything to criticize.

By the way, Prince William‘s air ambulance job is about 1 hour 20 minutes away from Anmer Hall, and about 1 hour 40 minutes away from KP (according to Google Maps). It’s not like William is that much closer to his job by living at Anmer Hall.

Basically my whole point in bringing this up is that it still annoys me that William and Kate spent £6 million of not their money renovating a giant palace apartment and then decided not to live there. Not because I had to pay for the renovations (I didn’t since I’m not a UK citizen), but because they just don’t seem to think things through.

I know it’s their life and they wanted to live where they were most comfortable, but at the same time if they had chosen to live in their KP apartment instead of spending all that money renovating it to turn around and spend even more millions renovating a different home and then decided to live there instead of at KP, then the criticism that gets leveled at them (and rightly so) would be less. People would have criticized the KP renovations less (since they would have actually been using it full time), would not have needed to criticize the Anmer Hall renovations (or if they still got and renovated Anmer as a weekend home, the criticism would have been less), wouldn’t have needed to criticize the fact that William and Kate spent so much money on KP only to live somewhere else, and wouldn’t have needed to criticize the use of the helicopter because Kate wouldn’t have needed to commute.

Either William and Kate really don’t think things through or they did and decided living at Anmer Hall was worth the hours long commutes and all the public criticism. Or they just don’t care about the criticism and are giving the press and public the finger.

Link: Express

Quick update since someone asked about how the CC would count Sunday’s engagement: They only counted it as one engagement.

Update on Kate’s coat worn for the helicopter ride: Kate wore a light blue Mulberry “Paddington” wool coat from the AW15 collection.

Mulberry Paddington coat

Kate LOVES this light blue color. And I mean caps lock LOVES this light blue color. Kate has about 15 garments in this color.

Matthew Williamson Wool Double Breasted Coat Seraphine Natasha Cashmere Blend Coat Mulberry Paddington coat

145 thoughts on “Kate Middleton takes £3,000 helicopter, Queen Elizabeth takes £55 train for same trip

    1. Completely understandable. I will never have the same outrage about the cost of the royals that UK citizens do, but I do get outraged at the cost of a lot of things here in the U.S. So I totally understand how UK citizens feel.

        1. The Church of Scientology is a nonprofit as well and doesn’t have to pay taxes, and the only reason they got that status is because they blackmailed people.

    2. I too am a UK tax payer and my words are sweary too. Trains can be slow on a Sunday but she has a chauffeur she could sleep on her way home after her long stressful day. It’s not as if she is even having to go to London 3-4 times a week or even a month. She needs a total reality check pretty soon.

      1. Birdy! Hi!

        I think both William and Kate need a reality check. They are really dumb and don’t seem to think anything through to their logical conclusion before doing them.

      2. Birdy, she wouldn’t even have to worry about the pesky pap photos of her drooling in her sleep during the drive because they’ve had the windows blacked out in their vehicles.

      3. My guess is Kate had something to return to. Like a training session.

        Here’s someone that never really earned a paycheck. Never did something because they had to. Finances were always taken care of by others. And while, yes, Kate rented clothes too expensive to buy. She haggled for lower prices on Audis by name dropping William. They were luxuries, not necessities. She doesn’t want to think or know about (imo) where the money comes from. It’s just there and it’s hers so why not.

        It’s not something I wish, but in time I bet there will be a divorce. And unable to maintain this lifestyle once the children are grown she could slip as Fergie did. Or her family will somehow.
        I have no faith Kate could rely on herself. She needs others to take care of her.

        1. I hadn’t heard that one before. When did she rent clothes? Before the marriage? I can totally see Scarole telling her how to do that.

          1. Most of the hats Kate has worn pre-marriage where rented.
            For example the black she wore with a black jacket and royal blue dress to a wedding a few weeks before the engagement was anounced.

          2. ccoop
            The hats were covered in a few articles to highlight Kate being more normal and thrifty. That she wasn’t elite/aristo.

            And same articles went on to also say how Kate and her family save money by sharing clothes. Pippa, Carole, and Kate have all worn the same dresses within small periods of time.
            It’s been said this was also what William’s circle of friends mocked about Kate.

            On a side note it’s my opinion on those types of people there’s 2 reasons for this behavior.
            1. They mock because they’re just jerks and it makes them feel better.
            2. They see someone trying to be someone they’re not. Someone fake entering into their friend circle. It makes a person become a lot more judgemental when it appears there’s something to hide.

            Another side note. All of this was during a time when PP was turning a profit that seems still unimaginable. They paid in cash for the Chelsea loft. And other funds that went towards keeping up appearances.

        2. Just an opportunist when all is said and done. Someone will always be around to prop up Kate. She’ll stick like glue to William, unwilling to lose the status and privileges.

          1. William will have to kick Kate and Carol out of his life for there to be a divorce, which I don’t see happening. Kate will lose her fingernails holding onto him rather than lose her lifestyle. She has proven able to look the other way at William’s partying with his friends and flings with other women.

      4. Spot on. And what ‘hands on’ parents we are to be brainwashed by KP to believe these two are – by the look of lazy excess waity kate she could not hold court with a few children in that video – the kids would be better at interacting than km. (or the children are too common for the duch of lazy).

    1. No, she changed clothes at KP after the engagement before getting into the helicopter and going back to Norfolk.

  1. Not defending use of the helicopter. But do want to point out that Charles and William have also been criticized for helicopter use when it appeared unnecessary compared to other modes of available transport. Not sure about Harry.

    1. Yes, William and Charles have been criticized for their use of helicopters as well. I do think Harry has as well. But not as much as Kate is being taken to task for it. I’m wondering if it would have been a big enough deal that the press picked it up had the Queen not taken the train the very next day Kate was spotted taking the helicopter. It’s not like professional paps caught Kate, she was photographed by fans and it was all over Twitter which is how the press found out about it.

      1. I honestly think their mindset is as follows,,,,screw the British tax payer and the general British public. I honestly think that the royal family couldn’t give two sh*ts about what you are I think. They play by their own rules of opulence and privilage, the British tax payer isn’t even an after thougt. They live in their own disfunctional bubble and everyone outside the so called “bubble” is to be ingnored. I don’t think “water off a ducks back” would even begin to describe the royal families indifference to the general publics’s qualms and concerns. Lastly, there is a general concensus amongst the family, ” we are privileged, they are not. I can see them sitting around during tea time snorting with laughter with just a touch of an idigent presence, scoffing at the lower classes and the issue that this ” lower public” has regarding a perfectly healthy 33 year old woman being flown by helicopter. It boggles the mind. Such ordinary people are will and Catherine (insert scarcasm) I wish the press would stop shoving this ludicrous notion down our throats. Yes, they seem more approachable than most other royals, by comparison, that doesn’t say very much

        1. The older generation are painfully aware of the need for public goodwill. When they are caught out, they try to give a decent explanation as to why they behaved the way they did OR it is off set by rest of their behaviour which means issue dies down quickly. Exception Yorks.

          The younger royals don’t give a hoot about the public. And by that I mean WK particularly. Message boards with descriptions of their arrogance during St Andrews have been taken down.

          Occasionally, when William has been caught out doing something he should not be doing, his reaction is always one of entitlement and petulance eg when he was sent home for being too drunk at Harry’s passing out Ball at Sandhurst. Or when he was caught joyriding the RAF helicopters or when he was caught speeding in the countryside or even when he was caught vacationing in France ( whilst the paps were wrong, it was overlooked that he skipped out on his ParaOlympic duties), or the time he shot an endangered bird in Kenya or the excess spending on their homes using the tax payer credit card or the time he used the helicopter to visit spy HQ for personal reasons and when caught out pretended it was an official duty and therefore taxpayer should pick up the £8K cost of it or or….examples are numerous and each time his (and Kate’s) reactions have been to be rude, petulant and entitled.

          They genuinely don’t give a rat’s petuty about the public. They surround themselves with their own kind and no one else. If the older generation wasn’t here to enforce public duty, I don’t think they’d turn out at all.

          The Queen makes a habit of taking the train primarily because she wa told by parliament to manage her expenses better. This happened back in the 90s when parliament refused to pay her civil list expenses unless she managed the money better. Over time, some of her toys were taken away eg Britannia – though current PM is making noises about giving her a new one, she had to open the palace doors and the artworks to the public, she’s cut off several of the family members – in the past entire family was on the civil list or heavily subsidised by her eg the Kents paid something ridiculous like £50 a week for their vast mansion flat at KP, but she has now forced them to pay the market rate which is somewhere in the region of £10K per month.

          It’s cute that she takes the train, and at her age probably prefers it, but it’s primarily a cost saving exercise that was initially forced on her by Parliament in a bid to save costs. Pity her grandson and his wife keep blowing the budget.

  2. It bugs me that they are really this clueless. Don’t they read the papers? Don’t they notice that the only thing that Kate gets complimented on is her clothing (and sometimes is a backhanded compliment)? Don’t they realise that people are complaining about their lack of work ethic? They want everything handed to them without having to work for it. It’s disgusting. Specially William should be ashamed, he grew up in it all and his complaints of “I didn’t ask for this” are redundant. You don’t want to do it? Fine get removed from the give up your rights to the throne and lead a normal life and work your bum off like the rest of us.

    1. That’s the thing: William did not decide which family to be born in to, but he decided to stay. The minute he turned 18 (or whatever legal age is in the UK) and did not remove himself from the line of succession, he made the decision to remain royal and take on the responsibilities that come with that. He does not have to stay if being a royal is that much of a burden to him.

  3. KMR, I think the answer is – drum roll, please – ” they just don’t care about the criticism and are giving the press and public the finger.”
    There is no reason for Kate and William to change their behaviour as when they want something, they get it. There are just no consequences for them being so thoughtless and spoiled.
    I feel for UK taxpayers; a totally intolerable situation. You are most likely right about the Queen preferring train travel. It’s comfortable, easy and no fuss and the time difference of 45 minutes is neither here nor there.

    1. I agree. They want what they want, feel entitled to it, and they get it. This is what Kate signed up for – Very. Important. Person. perks of the super-rich like the helicopter, not for the ‘work’.

      They truly are indifferent to the peons, but they do care about their image to keep those perks flowing and that’s why the massive PR juggernaut of mendacity exists. William’s hubris lies in believing that he can manipulate public perception while gorging on excess. They sure are ugly on the inside.

      1. I do believe W+K think they are the puppet masters. Didn’t Kate once describe herself as such? They are delusional if they think they can manipulate public perception. Surely that ship has sailed?

    2. Agreed! It is a sad day and a PR disaster for Kate when the Queen is photographed taking a public train back from her engagement… perhaps William and Kate have grown tired of the “we’re so normal” song and dance. As for wanting to get back to her children: those kids have an army of nannies and other caretakers/ staff… I doubt anything catastrophic would happen if she took an extra hour or two to get home via train or car…

  4. Unbelievable. I don’t begrudge anyone who wants to get home quickly after a long day of work. However, she worked 2 hours. It’s not like she’s zipping off to go to another engagement. She barely works. Kate doesn’t get it at all. She takes 2 steps forward and 10 back. I’m not a UK taxpayer, but I would be insulted. They’ve paid for KP/Anmer renos (don’t forget about the new tennis court), her seemingly endless blue wardrobe, exorbitant travel, and security at Middleton Manor.

    On the other hand, Liz works tirelessly. She’s almost 90 years old, at an age where most people her age are retired. She gets on with it with no fuss and takes a train. Something is so wrong with this picture.

    Thanks for the insightful post, KMR.

    1. I agree with you Rhiannon. Two steps forward and 10 back indeed. You can fix your nose, teeth, even cut your hair, but one’s character can never be changed. What Jason is tirelessly doing right now is trying to patch wet paper, the more they try, the bigger hole it created.

      Expensive renovations, bespoke dresses, and lazy spoiled lifestyle, I wonder if she tries to get even with the amount of time, money and effort she spent to get Will. It is as if she really believes that she has earned all these fair and square, and that she deserves these.

      She is not even a queen yet. Can you imagine Queen Kate?

        1. I have given that some thought too. Anything could happen by the time W&K’s turn rolls around and my gut tells me K’s butt will not perch on that throne.

      1. No, she won’t become a Queen. But she’ll always be lazy.
        Charles will be the last on the throne; royalty will be retired and the taxpayer will be freed from their burden of supporting them. Australia and NZ will seek to become republics once HM dies.

          1. I think Charles will be a great King, but to no avail.

            Well done, William. You are the end of centuries worth of history.

        1. But if that is the case with Charles as the last monarch, does it mean W&K get to retire as ordinary but filthy rich citizens? And if so, then it’s just a continuance of her sybaritic life with the added bonus of not having to work or show up for any charity. Bottomline she will be a rich and lazy aristocratic wife?

      2. If William and Kate make it to the throne, I would not be the least bit surprised to see William have BP completely renovated and regilded calling it a national treasure while leaning on the taxpayers to come up with the money for every little thing they want.

        Only problem is they’d paint those amazing public rooms beige and shut everyone out because they need their privacy.

      3. I’ve read that once Charles becomes King he will be redoing how the royal family “works” meaning the number of charities they support will drastically reduce, preferring to concentrate more of their time and energy on a smaller number of charities. I don’t see how a reduced work schedule while maintaining their luxury lifestyle will stand them in good steed with their subjects but I guess only time will tell. If there is still a monarchy when William becomes King I think it will look much, much different than it does today. A shame really.

        1. I’ve also heard that he wants to “slim down” the family and who all is involved in public engagements. I understand this logic, many of the continental royals only have immediate or very close family involved. But I think it could be bad for the family if some of the strongest members of the family (Countess of Wessex, Princess Royal) aren’t included in this “trimmed down” version…

        2. Charles may well reduce duties to those that are purely ceremonial, and a few charities. If so, his might become a part-time monarchy, and with that, less public money required to support it. W+K+H may find their funding diminished as they won’t be needed. They make no inroads now on the workload so no need for them really, except for the occasional ceremonial duty. They may have to live off their own private (inherited) wealth. I think Charles’s reign will see significant changes, the UK will transition to a republic, and the royal family move to private citizen status.

        3. I think his plan would be for those who are already of retirement age (not just himself, haha) to settle away from doing royal duties. Alexandra of Kent, the Gloucesters, etc. With how close he and Anne are I can’t see him not appreciating her work. Whatever one says about Charles he knows his duty. Edward and Sophie are also assets. Oh, let’s get rid of Randy Andy, too… please Charles!

      4. Catherine is able to utilize Her Majestic helicopter because Prince balds a lot phones in favors to Granny. We all know William is the favorite Grandchild, therfore, Mrs. Cambridge has can get just about any perk she desires. All it takes is a phone call to Granny and presto! Does anyone else find it a little strange that a day after Catherine is seen boarding a helicopter, Her Majesty is seen boarding a less fussy form of transportation for the exact loacation? Maybe all is not as it seems….deliberate on Her Majesty’s part, to make the younger generation look wasteful? Maybe this is a ploy to prop Charles and Camillus up a bit? Very coincidental if I do say so

        1. It isn’t the Queen’s helicopter. She leased an additional one, mostly for W&K, in 2014.


          Another bribe to try to get them to work more? “Yes, you can have my sister’s apartment at KP even though I swore no one else would live there while I was alive. I will kick out a charity for you. I will let you have millions of taxpayer money for it. I will kick out rent-paying tenants and let you have Anmer and tear it apart. Yes, I’ll lease another helo. NOW will you get off your bums and work?”

        2. JennDog
          Just a few things to correct for you.

          William is not the favorite grandchild. This is long thought to have been between Andrew’s and Anne’s children. Not once was it ever suspected or suggested William is a favorite or is close with HM as Grandmother/Grandson.

          HM was said to be out of the loop in all things regarding William. The gesture might just be for incentive to not create more distance in the family Not because he called her up.

          And the timing is not strange. It’s just a coincidence highlighted in the press. This happens often. Also, the Queen is involved in the tube. Very much so. This is good for its profile. Seems pretty routine if you look back a ways. She often takes this form of transport..

          And I have a slight personal qualm with calling him “balds a lot” as a persons natural features should not be a way to degrade them IMO. No matter how disliked. It’s a pet peeve that might have influenced my tone in this comment which is why I mention it. We’re all entitled to our own sense of humor.

          1. I don’t entirely disagree that Will is not the favourite BUT he is a future King and that does give him a very special place in HM’s heart which no one else has.
            The Queen never travels on the tube to get from A to B only when there are special celebrations, but she does take the train a lot having an extra first class carriage attached to a regular train.
            I agree the bald comments are personal and not something he can help, but the trouble is if he earned our respect as a Royal we wouldn’t care about it. He needs to stop playing at being normal and start acting as a future King and get the help and training which my goodness he needs.

          2. Birdy
            All grandchildren have places their their grandparents hearts. Maybe William is special to HM as an heir, but that is seperate from grandson to grandmother. IMO.
            And HM has taken the tube on several occasions to and from events. It’s not always heavily covered. And even this trip would have been under most radars if not linked to KM. I’m not saying HM uses that form of transport as a regular, but for work, yes, she uses it.

            I get what you’re saying about the bald comment. I just don’t see justification for it. Even if someone is not liked it’s petty imo to attack physical, natural features. Attack the qualities that make them not likable.
            And respect doesn’t always matter. Charles’s Ears are forever mocked. He works very hard and has done some amazing things (dutchy/organics/princes trust). He’s respected and yet features he chose to embrace vs going in for cosmetic procedures gets mocked.

            I don’t care for it as it feels like a bully tactic.
            And if William got help with his hair no doubt he would be mocked for that. I’ll stick to criticising his terrible work ethic and complete apathy for far too much.
            Last, William has been trained his whole life for 1 role. There’s no excuse he can’t even do a little bit near what Harry does.

          3. Eugenie and Beatrice are said to be closest to her heart. William’s position to the throne may make him “important” in her eyes, but it isn’t related to him as a person merely his position.

      5. Mia, no I can’t!

        Seriously doubt lazy, dutiless, petulant, arrogant Willnot*cannot and offsprings will ever become head of anything other than carole and the middletons!

    2. rhiannon, are you sure you want Kate for a SIL? She worked for about two hours, but she has worked very little in the last two months. I like these two less and less with each passing day.

      Adult children should not cause problems for their parents and grandparents. W&K have turned out to be a handful.

      1. I would hate to have to defer to Kate when she and William are in charge.

        You know the Middletons will be right there in their wing of Buck Palace as Uncle Gary predicted.

        Yep, no Harry for me. I wonder if Kate and William factor into his difficulty finding a bride.

  5. I agree with Jen, while it is clear that the public’s opinion of K & W seem to be at an all time low, I do not think they care and do whatever they want. If they have thick enough skin to handle all the negative backlash then I guess, good for them. W &; K have made a decision that they will do the bare minimum of royal duties but if that is the case, their PR team makes poor decisions on the little that they do. This helicopter thing is a good example of that, you would think their PR people would have thought this through, they had to have known the Queen was coming back to London. I wonder if at some point W &
    K’s behavior is going to cause the BRF to implode as surely other members of the family must resent them for not doing their part. If William and Kate do not want to step up and be responsible adults then he should not be King.

    1. Not only are they “not doing their part” they are also lowering the image of the whole family. It must be a team effort for them all to stay in power, one crack in that facade can easily have them all tumbling down.

  6. Just to play devils advocate for a moment, perhaps these travel arrangements were made without any input from Kate. In my office all travel is coordinated through one person; he makes all travel arrangements and the employee goes where, when and how he is told to with no input from the employee. With that in mind, the KP staff need to realize is that in politics and royalty, perception is everything. And right now the perception of William and Kate is that they are lazy, freeloaders who can’t be bothered to work more than a few days a month and live a life of tremendous privilege and luxury all at the expense of the taxpayer. Taking this flight might have indeed been the quickest way to get the Duchess from point A to point B, but the perception it left behind is a bit rank.

    1. I agree Lauri. It could have been out of her control. However, I think that someone should have been aware of the potential backlash if the public got a whiff of it. The “Men in Grey” love the monarchy more than HM and would have quashed it. Maybe they have given up.

    2. I agree Lauri, I think this is Will wanting to have her back to the casa and *safety* as quickly as possible to keep that normal life going.

    3. As someone in the travel industry, there is no way someone at Kate’s level would just do as she was told by a travel planner. She is what we would consider as a VIP C-suite executive who is an exception and does not have to follow the company travel policy like the little people. I am sure that the helicopter was what she (or William) demanded and received. Like, these execs, they just do what they want.

    4. W+ K may not care, or care to know, what the public thinks of them. If ‘crisis management’ PR specialists are employed for them, there’s probably a reason!
      How public money is used is important, it’s not just perception, particularly when a government is enacting austerity measures affecting the majority of the country.
      I would venture that William suggested the helicopter to get in and out of London asap. They do what they want and no questions asked. A car would have added another 90 minutes to the trip: big deal. Kate was ‘working’ for 2 hours, aka turning up and being a bore.

  7. I know this is slightly off topic, but does anyone know why the British media were so tough on Sarah Ferguson, and easy on Kate? I remember someone saying Fergie was called the Duchess of DoLittle because she loved vacations and hardly worked. But I feel like she had done more that Will and Kate. I don’t understand why the British Press don’t call William and Kate out in the same way. Even for things like flying home first class on a plane counts as an engagement (atleast that’s what i’ve heard). But the British press do not mention it at all.

    1. I’ve wondered that and I think its simply that Disney prince & princess sells more copies than the evil version. The Press sells stories, loosely based on the truth. They’re there not as a Court scribe but to shift papers & make revenue. At the moment it doesn’t suit then to burst the myth & tell the truth.

      1. But Andrew and Fergie were married at the time and had two small children. They seemed more publicly affectionate than Charles and Diana. Why didn’t they get the fairytale treatment?

        1. Because Charles & Di were the goodies. That role was taken, so less pretty, less photogenic Sarah had to be a baddie.

          Yin & yang.

        2. Andrew wasn’t the heir. Fergie wasn’t POW.
          Always, their heir is to be raised. David/Bertie being 1 of the best examples.
          Bertie until he became the heir was always belittled while David was raised above all others. Despite what we now know as his inability to decide, lead, roll back spending on crazy parties, etc, etc… How tables turn when you are no longer heir.

          Even Fergie’s spending. It’s remembered as massive when Diana’s spending was running circles around Fergie’s. Just the way it is.

      2. I agree that selling news is the only game. Yet the DM write articles in such sugary fashion to incite vitriolic comments. So there must be money in that.

      3. Because Fergie was the spare’s wife. Remember how much grief Harry receives in the press even though William is just as bad.

        The spare and his wife always are held down to build up the firstborn.

    2. Sarah was also stacked up against Diana, both physically and work wise. I love Diana, but she also fed into that. Diana played Sarah a lot. Kate has to contend with Diana’s now sanctified ghost.

      Sarah was seen as pushy, gauche, and nouveau riche. I think that Sarah has a heart of gold, but is horribly misguided. We don’t know where Kate’s heart is. The Duchess of Dolittle title is starting to rise up again. Just imagine when Harry marries me, I mean marry.

          1. They have shared residences, but I doubt they lie togther like a couple. Andrew still has others. No secret they do still care for eachother, but that could be more based on comfort and security at this point.

      1. It’s going to be bad news bears for KM if Harry marries anyone with even a bone of work ethic in her body. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if they limit the amount of engagements Harry’s wife can do in order to not make Kate look so lazy in comparison.

    3. I think it’s because William is the heir to the heir. There is a grudging respect given to William because of his position in the line of succession. If William were in the Harry position he and Kate would be turning on a spit over a bed of coals.

      1. It’s for the survival of the monarchy William stay protected for now.
        So, to keep him and those associated with him looking good is a priority.
        He’s screwed up so many times to have everything fixed he isn’t out of line to think he’s untouchable.

        And I bet there are many near him just itching to open that pandora’s box of his secrets.
        It’s all interesting as we can see it unfold. Before articles get erased and history gets rewritten.

    4. The only thing I can think of is that Kate is married to the heir, and Fergie was married to the spare. Ergo, Kate gets protected while Fergie got thrown under the bus in favor of the heir’s wife.

  8. There is a saying in my language that literally translates to, “you can never straighten a dog’s tail”- to me William and Kate are that tail. No matter how much their PR try to show them as normal people and dedicated to their country, little secret trips like this that cost taxpayers an arm and a leg (at a time of austerity no less), show to everyone that WK are lazy, spoiled, vapid and overall the best excuse that the Republic movement needs.

    1. What a great saying! I think in this case, the tail can’t be straightened because W+K only want it to appear straight, not actually be straight!

      They want to be perceived as being normal, but they don’t truly want to be normal. Being normal would mean taking the train or driving. Not good enough for W+K! When you are pretending to be something you’re not, little bits of the truth will always emerge through the cracks. I am wondering if this is an outlier incident, which just happened to be caught on camera, or just the tip of the iceberg of their flamboyant lifestyle.

  9. I don’t know, the helicopter thing doesn’t bother me. I got the impression from the DM article that the Queen enjoys taking the train and it appears to be a traditional thing to do at the end of her vacation. I am bothered by all the fuss the DM is making about KM’s eyebrows.

  10. This isn’t the first, nor will it be the last, that W&K make free with the helo. It shows that when she works, she will give the bare minimum of time to it including travel.

    Some others:

    – His private trip to the internet security offices

    – Her visiting kids in woods to give them a lecture about not watching tv. Helo to the event, spent less than an hour, then took helo to watch William play polo.

    – Fishing museum visit in Grimbsy. The press corps, who all took the train, arrived on time. She was late because of weather.

    There used to be a person on Celebitchy who lived near KP and would let us know about the frequent helo trips. I’m not on there anymore so I do not know if she is still highlighting those.

    1. I tweeted the exact same thing, Lauri! Obvious PR guff. OMG!

      Special note that K only drank water – negates all the comments on DM/Celebitchy that she looked puffy & hungover. Bonus points that it hints she may be preg again, or still feeding Princess Forgotten because she’s such a dedicated Mummy, right?

      This STINKS of BS.

    2. Oh no. Please don’t be pregnant again, Kate. Poor George and Charlotte need a tad more quality time with their parents before the next interloper into their little world arrives. But, then again, Kate needs a break from her grueling schedule and what better way to get one than by being with child? Does this mean she can cancel upcoming foreign visits?

    3. Date night? She needed to rush home in a helicopter for date night?? This bit of news cannot possibly be going over well with the British public…Birdy, what say you?? The DM must know there will be backlash, and have gleefully reported this little nugget in hopes of it. Aww how romantic, wine and water in a cozy pub corner. probably had the place to themselves, as their detail would have been “mine sweeping” an hour before they showed up. Piss poor start to the year kids. Pull your heads out already, it’s February. Ok, rant over, putting sugar in my coffee right now haha

      1. Ray I think it is outrageous. She wasn’t rushing home to look after the kids because it was the nanny’s day off, she was flying home for a night out . And I am paying for it but can’t afford a night out myself ( well ok I can , but it still annoys me).

        1. You’re right, it doesn’t say. I assumed, and you know what that means…guess I should have started with the sugar in my coffee 😉

    4. Last time they were photographed on a “romantic date night” she was pictured with her own bottle of wine. A week later they announced she was pregnant.

      1. It is clear from some of the comments people are leaving in this DM article that the PR blitz is not working. Comments are mostly negative and range from
        1. Not interested in W & K
        2. Just downright nasty
        3.Critical of their work ethic
        Not many positive postings.

  11. Working moms sometimes have to travel and can’t get home every night, no matter how young their children. She should have quietly stayed the night ( have some friends by for a glass of wine, maybe) in KP Apt 1, and just as quietly been driven home the next day. Home by noon, easy peasy. Can’t please all of the people all of the time, but please take into consideration your many options and decide accordingly. Not like she’d have been bunking at the Holiday Inn, with reconstituted eggs, mystery sausage and a waffle maker that won’t work for complimentary hot breakfast before grabbing a gas station coffee, and driving her normal self home home.

    1. What friends??!!!
      But she could have had Pippa and James round and cooked up a storm in one of her kitchens sharing some wine and letting her hair down. Something we all need from time to time . Her chauffeur driving her back the next day so she could have a few glasses… Sounds pretty good to me.

    2. I live in Los Angeles County. There are people who complete a two hour commute EVERY DAY because of the lack of affordable housing in the city. My commute for three years was eighty minutes. They and I make it home without a helicopter. Kate can too.

  12. Bravo, Ray. A great comment!
    I honestly believe that William and Kate could care less about what people think. It’s all about what they want and as long as the perks keep coming, so be it!

    If I were a taxpayer in the UK, I would be livid. I am also astonished, as KMR wrote, that HM, at her age, takes the train. Yes, she may not like the helicopter rides, but………… Really, Kate is impossible. Two hours at an event. TWO HOURS! How tough is that? Oh, forgive me, there were the hours of hair and make-up, too. The preparations were probably tougher on her than the actual appearance.

    William and Kate don’t seem to care much at all for the people and so how can they expect the people to care for them?

    She’ll have to take another copter London soon, won’t she? The infamous guest editor gig at the Huff Post UK. Oh, she is one busy commuter!

  13. Also playing devil’s advocate, The Queen had been at Sandringham for almost 2 months. Even if she had taken a helicopter, all of her luggage would have had to go back via trains or cars as well. She is an important ambassador for British Rail. Also, as she rented an entire train car I doubt it cost a mere 55 pounds, although it is certainly a valid point!

  14. Queen Elizabeth’s trip back to London cost a lot more than the 1st class train ticket. When she goes to Sandringham, she takes personal staff from London and even has items like the pots and pans from the kitchen in Buckinghan Palace transported, along with the chef and kitchen staff. So it is unfair to say her move back to Buckingham Palace cost only 55 Pounds. There is a lot of hidden cost.

    1. They press didn’t say her move back to BP cost only 55 pounds. The press is comparing how two people, two individuals, traveled between Norfolk and London. The Queen took the train, KM took a helicopter.

      The press isn’t tallying up, say, how much it costs every time KM goes back home to mummy. The initial estimates were $20,000 per day, because she insists on staying outside an official (already secured) residence.

      1. My2Pence
        I remember the war of numbers during her Stay at her parents while William was elsewhere.
        Security upgrades and additions to that house aside. There was a point made on the security costs diverted from that and surrounding towns plus cutting back on helicopter perimeter checks from a few times a day to once.
        I could also rant about how it strains the emregency services in surrounding towns and how she didn’t even use them when she had morning sickness with George, but I won’t. Because that would be a looong post.

  15. The article is was very misleading. There’s no way it only cost 55 pounds to for an entire first class train compartment. I have no idea how many seats are in a compartment, but even assuming 20 seats (which sounds low), that’s 1100 pounds. In addition, there’s more costs for extra security at the train stations, and extra security on the actual train. Not to mention the disruption for the daily commuters. I can’t imagine it was “business as usual” when the Queen is on the train.

    All things considered, the 3000 pound helicopter ride was probably cheaper. That is way less security and planning.

    Kate definitely has her faults, but in this case, I can’t fault her for taking the helicopter. I’m sure getting the Queen on the train was a logistical nightmare regarding security, privacy, etc. I guess she could have drove, but realistically, nobody wants to spend 6+ hours a day in a car, and it would’ve been a minimum 6 hours with traffic.

    1. On the other hand, one person took the helicopter and an entourage with luggage took the train. If the end cost was close, the train was cheaper. Also, she is the Queen. If anyone in the BRF is given concessions, she should be the first 3 names on the list 😉

    2. “All things considered, the 3000 pound helicopter ride was probably cheaper. That is way less security and planning.”

      This misses the point. She didn’t need a helicopter for such a short trip and for the 2 measly hours she spent in London. There would be security on the trip with her anyway. But if we were to make comparisons, it would have been much cheaper for *her* and her security to take the train when compared to the costs of a helicopter.

      1. Let’s not forget that 3k is not a fair assessment.
        It’s a freeze frame number.
        When this happens it’s only factoring the pay for the pilot, security, fuel, and maybe a fraction of what the lease cost would be for 2 hours use.

        The reality calls for more. Insurance, fuel, maintenance, pilot, security, sweeping grounds on landing locations, sweeping the helicopter as routine, mechanics that look it over pre and post flight.
        There’s a lot that factors in this number doesn’t care to claim.

        And since this was from a work event it counts as work and gets picks up by tax funds entirely.

    3. What we are dealing with here is an optics issue. One took the train and the other took a helicopter. If Kate were a hardworking Royal, this would have been swept under the rug. However, due to her lousy work ethic,
      the knives are out for her and she’s being subjected to greater scrutiny and criticism. She asked for it.

      1. Yes, Kate amd William invite the criticsm and clearly don’t listen to advice, so they stick their foot in the same bear traps over and over again, damaging their reputation.

        The Queen rides in a special, private rail car, so it cost more then a first class ticket. But the Queen is a master of public image and cares about what the public thinks of her first and foremost. It shows in the decisions she makes as she lives her life and the stuff that she lets the public see and hear about her through the media.

    4. When royals travel by car, traffic and traffic laws are suspended for them. Unless they are travelling somewhat incognito. WK (and other royals) tend to travel in motorcades complete with outriders to clear the traffic in the manner of an ambulance getting through traffic.

      I’m rambling, but the point i’m making is that don’t imagine a car journey for the royals is as long or as arduous as it is for regular people. It is not. They travel at speed, and ignore all traffic rules as traffic is cleared for their motorcades to pass and arrive at their destinations at half the time it would take a regular person, if not less. This is royal (and some VIPs eg POTUS travelling in a motorcade) privilege.

  16. Sorry but must politely disagree. HM regularly travels by train, it is not a logistical nightmare and others love it because the train is always on time. She didn’t have the whole carriage to herself her husband and staff would have been with her and she has tight security wherever she goes she is Head of State. She used to have a Royal Train but now just uses the same ones as everyone else. Good for her I say. It is also about more than pound notes, it is about people’s perception. Kate’s car also doesn’t sit in queues the way is cleared for her in ways that are actually disruptive and often dangerous for normal road users.

    1. “It is also about more than pound notes, it is about people’s perception.” In a nutshell. Just why is this so hard for these kids to fathom?

    2. For a while in college, I worked an internship where I had to drive 2.5 hours each way, three times per week. I also had to work a full 8 hour day. Mind you I was working for NO money. Because of this, it really makes me grumble that KM can’t just ride in a car for a few hours. She doesn’t even have to drive. She can nap or play on her phone the entire time. It might be different if she was rushing back to Norfolk for another event or one the kids’ birthdays. In this case, I completely agree it is about so much more than money. Don’t ask us to treat you with normalcy and privacy when you’re jetting about in helicopters after only working 2 hours. That’s not normal.

      1. Yes, Lindsey! The drive home would be a great time for her to catch up on all of that reading (scientific papers and whatnot) and maybe meet with her aides. It could actually be a great use of time. If she did any work, that is.

      2. Excactly! Especially after being on vacatio since mid December. I would understand if she had engagements everyday for a long period, but if the last one was in December, then no excuses for Kate.

  17. KP apartment renovation for W&K. My guess is they won’t use it for the next ten years. At which time they will want it redecorated since the decor is ten years old.

    As for the helicopter ride for Kate. If she worked two hours, the cost of the helicopter and security adds up to ? …Maybe, Kate should stay home on the sofa.

    1. Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t there decorating issues at KP? Kate chose paint colors, had them done, and hated the end product, all blamed on pregnancy brain? Was that before or after they had to push back a move in date, because asbestos (?) was discovered, and more ex(p)tensive renos were required? I may be totally off the wall here, but I’ll do some digging…

        1. Most people with half a brain have a swatch painted on all four walls to see how it looks in different lighting conditions throughout the day. When you pay your own bills, the idea of making a decorating error makes a difference and you put in the time so it does not happen.

          Typical of Kate, too lazy to keep an eye on the progress of her own home and blames it on ‘pregnancy brain’ to get sympathy. More like Lazy Brain.

      1. Everything came out purple or with purple tints apparently.
        The aesbestos part was known even before the Charity moved in. It would only be an issue if they were tearing out walls as it’s only bad if airborn and heavily disturbed. That was only handled in the 1st round of renos.

        My job is heavily centered around pregnant ladies. There is a hormone factor, but sometimes it’s just poor taste.
        And yes. a 2nd round of renovations was required. New apolstry, new appliances, new carpet, drapes, furniture structure, ect, etc… And the Queen reportedly had a rush put on these renovations to make sure all was ready by the time Kate had George. There was an overlap, but end of it all Kate moved into her parents home for 6 months and then almost immediately to Anmer Hall. Staying close to if not there. It wasn’t often she took residence in KP. She did, but rarely was she seen there at all.

        What to get upset? The Queen got these private funds to use on KP renos taken from BP reno fund account that gets tax dollars annually. If not used HM can take those funds and convert to private use. Meanwhile it’s been noted sections of BP are sealed off because the walls and ceilings are literally falling down around them.
        What to get more upset? Because sections a BP needed such repair and there was little left from the maintenance funds HM needed money. So, it was put up to parliment a service that provided assistance to those with disabilities wanting to work would be cut. Meaning if you needed transportation for example to your job and you got it through a service that did handicap transportation for that specific purpose you were out of luck.

        This became big, but not major news when some of the disabled picketed outside Parl doors. They were in wheelchairs being loud, but peaceful getting pushed around by police. a few videos might still be on youtube. Around a minute long.

        So, yea. It wasn’t all for KP renos and had much to do with how HM takes public or direct use money to later claim as private funds, but there was the links all connecting.

  18. The Queen could have taken a helicopter, too, if she had wanted and have sent her luggage by train. I think the luggage has rather been carried into the freight compartment than onto a first class seat.
    Why should Kate waste a thought on money for which other people have to work for ?

    1. KP. PR is under the thumb of petulant arrogant Willnot*km, who lives for all royal perks and privileges due a ‘senior royal’ (and the middletons), without giving back/ serving HM and the British and CW people.

      1. Hi Birdy, good to have you back. I hope everything’s OK with you. Were you swimming the channel again these days? 🙂

        About this helicopter flight: I’m surprised with DM’s coverage of that story. This, plus the eyebrows’ article were surprisingly not sugary for DM’s standards. For all we know, Kate might have taken the helicopter for her outbound trip. And if the helicopter is leased for a year then the cost should not be that high. Moreover this kind of transportation for Kate may have been accepted by HM since it was known that Norfolk will be a permanent residence. After all, it’s not like Kate will be using it a lot, because Kate doesn’t do lots of engagements in the first place, right?

        It’s interesting though the shift in the articles’ style with the publication of this pic from a fan – not even a pap – and the deliberate comparison with HM’s train trip. As someone said, perception is everything and I do admit that this ‘in and out’ dealing with official engagements is very annoying.

        1. Kate and William are notorious users of helicopters/private. In public and in private. Especially if helicopter/private jet is paid by others. So notorious that it is notable when they use any other transportation. There was once a conversation on twitter amongst royal reporters/photographers on an article about Wiliam taking a budget airline where they all agreed that he did that because he was paying for it himself, Otherwise he always takes the more expensive helo/private jet option where someone else is paying. Ditto Kate. They also mentioned how frequently they use this mode of transportation.

          Their use of Helo/private jets is another reason HM leased a helo for them. She was trying to bribe them into working more.

          Long before they moved to Amner, they were helicoptering/private jetting everywhere.

  19. She has waaayyyyy too many similar coats, so the obvious solution is to send this fabulous new minty one to me. I love it. She doesn’t need it. Problem solved!

  20. And the comments on other blogs regarding this article are withering, to say the least. Posters on Celeb!tchy for example are already breaking down what KM has to be paid per hour to just get her out the door, including her heli ride, clothes, jewels, security. At this rate, it would be cheaper to just have her stay at home, cut off of all her financial freebies and donate that money to her charities of which KM is supposedly a “patron”.

    1. Red Tulip
      There’s a handful of posters there that know their stuff.
      A good resource for this is a republican site many used when I was a regular there. It factors in transport, clothes, time off from a charity/business hours, tax funds for security, hair dresser/makeup, and a few other things.

  21. Was it mentioned it the 3000 is the cost of renting a similar helicopter or the cost of fuel for the helicopter? Because if it’s the former, it shouldn’t ecen matter because the Queen owns the heli meaning 3k wasn’t used at all.

    1. My guess is it is the fuel costs. It is a second leased helicopter.


      The lease may include X number of staff hours per year, but things like fuel costs and mileage (wear and tear on the machine above X number of miles or trips) would be on top of that I’d think.

      William’s “private” trip to security headquarters, not allowable for private use, was estimated at 8,000 pounds.

      1. Yes, is there any reason to believe that the Dolittles, or for that matter, the BRF, stick to the financial script? I am sure a lot is hidden/justified. They all feel entitled, IMO, because they think of themselves as elevated beings beyond the reach of mundane matters, like money; history tells them so.

  22. You really spelled it out, KMR, but I really enjoyed this read. I only dive into this when I get the time at work but I’m always fascinated by your knowledge. I can’t believe she took a helicopter, honestly. She could have read, or I’m sure done some kind of work while sitting on a train or in a car, maybe? I don’t know, it doesn’t seem like much to ask to take something simpler than a helicopter. I also didn’t realize they had spent that much on their renovation when they (seemingly) refuse to live there.

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