Shannen Findlay

Travel Trouble

Prince Charles cops a lashing for taking helicopter to speak on aircraft emissions

Prince Charles cops a lashing for taking helicopter to speak on aircraft emissions

The Prince of Wales has been blasted after it was reported the royal flew over 200 kilometres in the Queen’s helicopter to give a speech on climate change and aircraft emissions.

The 71-year-old royal heir was reportedly picked him in the chopper at Highgrove, Gloucestershire, and flown to Cambridge, where he was then chauffeured in a Bentley to the Cambridge University’s Whittle Laboratory on Friday.

It was there Prince Charles told scientists to “act quickly to rescue this poor old planet”.

He said during a speech: “We haven’t got time to waste.

“We have run out of time now to rescue this poor old planet from man-made emissions and all the complications we’re now facing, all the challenges we’re facing.”

However, it was only moments later the royal caught his mother’s helicopter back to see the Queen – a trip that caused around 2.5 tonnes of carbon emissions, and hundreds of gallons of aviation fuel.

The total cost is reported to be at a staggering $23,000, according to reports by Sunday Mirror.

He has been blasted in the past for taking trips by eco groups, who have accused him of not “walking the walk” on his pleas for people to look out for their carbon footprint.

Graham Smith, CEO of campaign group Republic, told the Mirror: “He wants to play the role but not walk the walk. His view seems to be that it’s one rule for him and one rule for the rest of us. 

"Driving or using the train would have been pretty easy.”

Dr Lucy Gilliam, aviation and shipping campaigner for environmental group Transport & Environment, added to the topic by saying: “He could have used a private car with a chauffeur, ideally an electric one if he really wanted to walk the walk. He can definitely afford a Tesla.

“I don’t doubt that Prince Charles really does get the message, but if he wants to be really effective, he must make those changes that will send such an enormous signal to the world.”

A Clarence House spokesman said: “The Prince is not personally involved in decisions around his transportation arrangements, though he ensures all carbon emissions are offset every year.

“They are made based on what is possible within the constraints of time, distance and security.

“In order for him to undertake as many engagements as he does across the UK and around the world he sometimes has to fly.

“As he has often said, as soon as there is a more sustainable way of making these journeys, he’ll be the first to use it.”