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A royal display of common sense: Once kings take commercial flights for official visits, will common VIPs follow?

The King and Queen of Sweden didn't just hop on to a commercial flight, but also carried their own hand baggage.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Dec 06, 2019, 08.43 AM IST
King Carl Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden at IGI airport.
The King and Queen of Sweden really should not set embarrassing precedents, as it makes the lives of VIPs infinitely harder than they already are. Hopping on to the next available commercial flight to India — carrying their own hand baggage, that too — just because their official jet had problems may be the politically advantageous thing to do, but it may well be cited as a precedent to compel other globetrotting notables to trim their travel budgets and carbon emissions.

Why, just this August, Prince William and his family also jumped on to a £73-a-head budget flight to Scotland even though his brother Harry showed more appropriate royal éclat by taking a private jet for holidays — and to an island to deliver a lecture on climate change. If crowned heads start evincing such plebeian concerns as expenses and global warming, mere heads of states and governments can hardly consider themselves immune hereinafter. Some things survive by convention, after all, not logic.

​Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge ​in Dundee, Scotland. ​
Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge in Dundee, Scotland.

Of course, the prospect of earning an ear-tingling, thunderous “How dare you!” from the most famous Swede right now could have also had a hand in King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia making this commendable gesture. Reprimands from other VIPs irked by their austerity would be far less daunting than a riposte from their teenaged Swedish force of nature.

Ambani's Jets, Mittal's Yachts: Luxurious Rides Of The Ultra-Rich

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Who Owns What

4 Dec, 2019
Private yachts and customised planes. Check out the travel modes of the jet set that double up as meeting venues, party hangouts and spots to host special occasions.For those Indians — and those with desi roots — who are counted among the world’s wealthy, island hopping in Europe aboard their customised 200-feet yacht or taking off in their bespoke jet across the continent are but a way of putting a monogram on their commute. Take a look at the rides of the jet set:

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