Why Experts Believe Prince Harry Wasn't Allowed To Fly With Prince William Back To Balmoral

Shortly before the death of Queen Elizabeth II on September 8, her family flocked to Scotland's Balmoral Castle to be by her side during her final moments. Among her numerous guests were her four children, as well as her grandson who soon became the heir apparent to the British throne: Prince William, son of the new King Charles III. While William and most other members of the royal family were at least able to be in Balmoral at the time of her death, one notable family member wasn't able to make it until hours after she died: William's brother, Prince Harry. 

Although the relationship between Princes William and Harry is notoriously strained, largely because of Harry and his wife Meghan Markle's exit from the royal family, the real reason why Harry and William had to fly to Balmoral separately had nothing to do with the brothers' feelings for one another. As it turns out, the two sons of the new king are actually prohibited from flying together at all. 

A crash involving William and Harry could have caused a constitutional crisis

As it turns out, royal experts believe that the real reason Princes William and Harry cannot fly together is because Buckingham Palace fears that, in a worst case scenario involving the death of both brothers, there would be a "constitutional crisis" to the line of succession. Royal author and constitutional expert Brian Hoey told The Sun that there is a "strong constitutional reason that William and Harry do not fly together — and that is to do with the line of succession." Hoey said that while "events happened very quickly," referring to the sudden and dramatic news of the queen's ill health the morning of September 8, "They have had years to plan for all eventualities." This, of course, includes the possibilities of tragic and deadly accidents. 

If William were to die, the heir apparent to the British throne would be his son, the 9-year-old Prince George. And in that scenario, the death of King Charles III, who is 73, would result in a child becoming king. According to The Washington Post, George would technically be allowed to become king, but he would not be able to carry out official duties until he became 18. As a result, Harry — the next adult in line to the throne after William — would act as regent until George's 18th birthday. As a result, Buckingham Palace has to constantly plan ahead in order to avoid worst-case scenarios.