Prince William gets $11M helicopter from Queen on his birthday

What does a grandmother give her grandson on his 32nd birthday? If it's the Queen and Prince William, try an $11-million helicopter.

Prince William, heir to the throne after his father Charles, turned 32 today

Prince William, pictured in a helicopter in 2012, served as a Royal Air Force search-and-rescue pilot. For his 32nd birthday Saturday, William received his own helicopter from the Queen. (SAC Faye Storer/Associated Press)

Prince William received an $11-million helicopter from his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, for his 32nd birthday today.

William, heir to the throne behind his father Prince Charles, received a 2008 Agusta A109S Grand helicopter from the British monarch. Local media identified the helicopter model.

The Agusta A109S Grand:

  • Can hold one pilot and seven passengers.
  • Is equipped with air conditioning and a rear cabinet with a bar.
  • Weighs nearly 1,600 kilograms when empty.

The new helicopter will help William and his wife, Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, zip between home and official engagements, and be used to ferry other members of the Royal Family around, the Daily Mirror reports.

It says the helicopter costs will be covered by the sovereign grant, which is a sum of money the government gives to the Royal Family to help support the Queen's official duties.

For 2013-14, the government gave the Queen slightly more than $66 million.

The Duke of Cambridge is a helicopter pilot. He served in the Royal Air Force, including a stint as a search and rescue pilot, and was known professionally as Flight Lt. William Wales.

He left the Armed Forces in September 2013 — about two months after the birth of his first and only child, Prince George.


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