‘Puerile!’ Row erupts as Queen criticised for travelling by helicopter to Sandringham

Queen's speech at COP26 'is appropriate' says expert

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The Queen reportedly left Windsor Castle on Thursday to spend the weekend at her beloved estate in Norfolk. The 95-year-old head of state is said to have undertaken the trip by helicopter and is expected to return to Berkshire early next week.

Her means of transport was criticised by Graham Smith, the CEO of Republic, an organisation calling for the abolition of the monarchy and the election of the UK’s head of state.

Taking to Twitter, Mr Smith noted the Queen’s use of a private helicopter came just a few days after she addressed world leaders and decision-makers at the ongoing United Nation’s climate change summit, COP26.

Mr Smith wrote: “Two days after telling everyone we need to tackle climate change she is again using a helicopter when she could just as easily go by car.”

His message found a mixed response, with some agreeing with his stance while others took the side of the Queen. 

Twitter user SueJon wrote: “She could have easily taken an electric car.

“I give up. I guess climate change is for the peasants only.”

Similarly, a social media user named Linda agreed with Mr Smith saying: “Always been one rule for them and another for us.”

Others, however, attacked Mr Smith for his criticism of Her Majesty in light of her role and age. 

One Twitter user with the nickname John Payne said: “Pathetic and puerile. Are you suggesting that no one should use a helicopter in future?

“The constitutional head of state needs protection and care.”

Another, called Nick Clayton, said: “So you know the royals and politicians fly because for security reasons they need an escort and road/junction closures? Better to use one helicopter than six cars.”

A third person defending the Queen, named Aubery Smythe May, wrote: “Her Majesty can do what she likes as far as I am concerned.” 

Finally, a Twitter user called James added: “Get a life, she’s 95.”

The Queen was reported to have left her residence in Berkshire only after her doctors had given her the go-ahead, as she is still following their advice to rest and only undertake light duties.

A royal source told the Daily Mirror: “The Queen had been hoping she would still be able to spend the weekend at Sandringham and was delighted her doctors gave her the all-clear to travel.

“Her Majesty is very much looking forward to hosting her family at her Norfolk home for the Christmas holiday and there is much preparation to be done in time to accommodate everyone who has been invited. 

“The Queen has many happy memories of being at Sandringham with the family over Christmas and was in the firm belief that she was far better off being there in person to oversee everything as much as possible.

“But she travelled on the understanding with her doctors that she continues to rest as advised.”

This short journey came three days after her pre-recorded speech was broadcasted during the evening reception at COP26.

In it, the head of state urged decision-makers to rise above the politics of the moment and take steps to save the planet for generations to come.

She said: “It is the hope of many that the legacy of this summit – written in history books yet to be printed – will describe you as the leaders who did not pass up the opportunity; and that you answered the call of those future generations.  

She said: “That you left this conference as a community of nations with a determination, a desire, and a plan, to address the impact of climate change; and to recognise that the time for words has now moved to the time for action.

“Of course, the benefits of such actions will not be there to enjoy for all of us here today: none of us will live forever.

“But we are doing this not for ourselves but for our children and our children’s children, and those who will follow in their footsteps.”

The Royal Family has taken steps over the years to reduce its environmental impact.

For example, Prince Charles and the Queen often adopt electric cars when travelling to engagements and the Prince of Wales famously has an Aston Martin fuelled by wine and cheese wastes.

However, they have also used in the past helicopters and private jets for timing or securing reasons.    

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