Prince William Handed $13.6M Worth of Birthday Present
By Tanya Diente | June 23, 2014 6:35 PM EST
Prince William has received a grand helicopter as a gift from the Queen on his 32nd birthday on June 21.
Britain's Prince Harry (L), Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge and his wife, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge share a light moment as they stand on the balcony of Buckingham Palace in the annual Trooping of the Colour ceremony to celebrate the Queen's official birthday in central London, June 14, 2014.
Queen Elizabeth II celebrated Prince William's, the Duke of Cambridge's, 32nd birthday by giving her grandson an ultimate birhtday present. The present came in the form of the 2008 Agusta A109S Grand helicopter, estimated to be worth $13.6 million, according to lifeandstylemag, or equivalent to 8 million pounds sterling.
Lifeandstylemag cited even though Queen Elizabeth II earned a reported $66 million in the previous year, funds to cover the cost of the helicopter came from the sovereign grant or money from the government.
According to digital spy, a spokesman for Queen Elizabeth II said the helicopter has been leased for a fixed number of hours annually.
"It has been leased in this way because it offers good value for money and because it provides for better safety and security than taking a number of short term leases," the spokesman noted.
The helicopter will be used as transport for Prince William and Kate Middleton whenever they attend official engagements. The extravagant gift is meant to reduce travel time between appearances, giving the royal couple as much time as possible with their 10-month-old son Prince George.
The helicopter can hold up to seven passengers and one pilot. It can travel at a maximum speed of 180 miles per hour, has rear cabinet with a bar and weighs nearly 1,600 kilograms when empty.
Prince William's helicopter will be docked with the Queen's own aircraft at RAF Odiham in Hampshire.
Queen Elizabeth II has reportedly also allowed other members of the royal family to borrow the helicopter in keeping with her generous streak.
The helicopter is a perfect gift for Prince William given that he has been trained as a British Royal Air Force helicopter pilot, previously known as Flight Lt. William Wales.Prince William previously served in the Royal Air Force (specifically the search and rescue force) but had to give up his duty in September 2013, two months after his son Prince George was born.
Prince William was born on June 21, 1982 at St. Mary's Hospital in London.
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