Prince William has come under fire after it was revealed he landed a Royal Air Force helicopter in girlfriend Kate Middleton’s back garden.
The future king – who was awarded his RAF pilot ‘wings’ earlier this month – practised a series of take-offs and landings at the Middleton family home in Berkshire during a military exercise.
The head of the RAF, Sir Glenn Torpy, is said to have “erupted” with fury at the “sheer stupidity” of the situation.
A source added: “William hasn’t done anything wrong but the naivety of those around him in allowing him to make these flights without foreseeing the potential problems they could cause is astonishing. I think there has been a bit of royal fever here.”
Nick Harvey, Liberal Democrat Defence spokesman, said: “It’s going to leave a lot of people wondering where the sense of priority lies if very serious helicopters are being made available for this sort of thing at a time when they are in such extreme need.”
According to the News of the World newspaper, William came up with the idea to take the helicopter to Berkshire claiming there was a shortage of landing spots at nearby RAF Odiham in Hampshire where he was based for part of his attachment.
This is not the first time William – whose training with the RAF has cost British taxpayers an estimated UKP300,000 – has used an official helicopter for private use.
Earlier this month, he flew himself and brother Prince Harry to the Isle of Wight for cousin Peter Phillips’ stag weekend.