How Is the Royal Couple Flying Down to Africa for Their Honeymoon?

May 19, 2018

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Rich people fly nice planes. That’s just how it works. World leaders and royalty often get the *works* when it comes to air travel, international and domestic. We know the US President flies in a converted 747, callsign “Air Force One” when he’s aboard, and other heads of state fly in similarly decked-out aircraft. From the Japanese Prime Minister’s 747 and the UK’s A330 to Russia’s IL-96 and the Qatari fleet of private 747-8s, these planes, unsurprisingly, bear little resemblance to their commercial counterparts on the inside.

So when two rich, famous and (potentially) powerful people travel — I’m talking about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, of course — how do they do it? We’ve covered some of the obsessed-about couple’s travel before, like when they flew in British Airways economy on an intra-Europe flight to France, but when it comes to their honeymoon, we’re curious how they’ll make the trip all the way from the UK to Namibia, two nations separated by some 5,000+ statute miles.

We don’t know exactly where in Namibia they’re going, but, if they’re going to Windhoek, the capital and largest airports in the country, it’s a 5,200 mile trip. Image courtesy of Great Circle Mapper


The twist is that this trip for a honeymoon, not official business. And here’s the thing: In the past, the Queen has traveled via the UK’s No. 32 squadron, on a collection of private jets and helicopters, but even their most long range jet, a BAE-125, can fly a measly 1,900 miles.

Courtesy of Eddie Maloney /Wikimedia Commons


In past instances of necessary long-haul or overseas travel, high-ranking members of the family have simply borrowed (leased, actually: the airline gets paid) an aircraft or two from British flag-carrier British Airways, like one of their 777-200ERs or 787s, pictured below. Sadly, there’s no first class on some of these planes.

British Airways' first Boeing 787 Dreamliner arrives at London Heathrow on 27 June 2013 (Photo by Jeff Garrish/ B ritish Airways)
British Airways’ first Boeing 787 Dreamliner  (Photo by Jeff Garrish/British Airways)


Of course, being the royal family, they could always just ask Prime Minister Theresa May for her ride: a heavily modified Airbus A330 that’s a part of the Royal Air Force fleet. Being that this isn’t official business, even though Harry is fifth in line to the throne, we don’t anticipate them getting that good chariot.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Common / Björn Strey
Courtesy of Björn Strey /Wikimedia Commons


What’s the answer, then? It’s tough. With no direct number to the Harry or Meghan’s staff available, we even reached out to the royal family on Twitter (we thought we were pretty funny)…

… But got nothing.

While we can’t give you a definitive answer, what we can do is give you a hunch. Our best guess?  The more likely option, we’d say, is a British Airways wide-body aircraft. Maybe BA will lease them a 747 or 777-300ER equipped with first class, as those Club World business class seats aren’t great any day of the week, let alone when shuttling members of the highest-ranking family in the country.

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