The Prince of Wales took more than 20 private flights, including several helicopters, within the UK last year in order to avoid being stuck in traffic, it emerged yesterday.
The prince is said to be “allergic” to travelling by helicopter, one of the most polluting modes of travel.
However, the annual Sovereign Grant report revealed that he took several flights during the last financial year, including hopping between engagements in Northern Ireland and Wales and a 70-mile trip from London to Brize Norton in Oxfordshire in order to catch a charter flight to Barbados.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall also flew separately to Wales by helicopter from their respective homes, Highgrove in Gloucestershire and Ray Mill in Wiltshire.
The couple took more than 15 charter flights, including to and from Belfast, and multiple journeys from residence to residence, including Glasgow to Northolt, West London, last July, and Northolt to Marham, Norfolk, to Aberdeen in December.
It comes as the Duchy of Cornwall, the prince’s landed estate, outlined its ambition to reach net zero carbon by the early 2030s.
A senior royal source admitted there was “a conflict” in being an environmental champion as well as someone with state responsibilities to travel. “That is tricky,” they acknowledged.
“You only get to use the helicopter if every other option has failed.
"But there are just some days where you’ve got to be in place A at this time and place B at that time. And, as we all know, driving around the country in our cars, you hit traffic.”
The cost of running the prince’s London office and Clarence House residence came to £107,000 (€124,000), while his official travel by air and rail was £892,000.
The prince and duchess’s travel costs rose by £640,000 on the previous year, as overseas royal tours resumed with the easing of Covid restrictions.
Almost 90pc of the household’s energy came from renewable sources.
(© Telegraph Media Group Ltd 2022)
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