Britain’s Prince William is facing criticism for recently landing a Royal Air Force Chinook helicopter at the home of his girlfriend’s parents during a training flight. The Prince, who received his air force wings on April 11, landed on the property for 20 seconds before taking off again. (AP)
What the commentators said
This “stunt” by the “poser prince” has “sparked furious criticism” in Britain, said Ryan Sabey in News of the World, especially since it happened “just days after Wills was slammed for using another Chinook to fly himself and brother Harry to a stag weekend on the Isle of Wight.” On top of that, the helicopter Prince William used costs “£15,000-an-hour” to fly.
And the Royal Air Force “has long complained about a shortage of Chinook helicopters in Afghanistan,” said Eben Harrell in Time.com. “For years officials at NATO have been exhorting its member states to pony up more transport helicopters for that mission, with limited success.”
“Air Chief Marshal Sir Glenn Torpey has insisted newly-qualified RAF pilot Wills was legitimately practicing landing and taking off from grass,” said Chris Hughes in the Mirror. Torpey also claims that Prince William chose to land in his girlfriend’s yard “because there are apparently not many other fields available in Hampshire.”
This is “the sort of courting ritual befitting of a future king,” said Tom Geoghegan in the BBC News. “But are women really impressed by such a stunt, and if so, how can those of more modest means seek to recreate it?” After all, it’s not as if “everyone has access to a £10m RAF helicopter that carries 55 troops, plus a girlfriend with a garden that looks like it should be owned by the National Trust.”