William and Kate granted special permission by Queen to go on family trip

The Queen had to give Prince William and Kate Middleton special permission to go on holiday as a family with their three children last week.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, both 39, were seen at Gatwick Airport jetting off to an undisclosed location for the half-term break with their three children Prince George, eight, Princess Charlotte, six and Prince Louis, three.

It's rare for the family to be allowed to fly together due to an unusual unwritten travel rule in place for the royals.

Senior members of the Royal Family aren't permitted to fly together usually, unless they've requested permission from the Queen.

However, despite their trip as a family it's not long until they won't be able to travel together due to the unwritten rule that protects the future of the monarchy.

Prince George will be required to fly separately from his father Prince William when he turns 12. This is because Prince William and his son are second and third in line to the throne, and so the rule is that they travel separately in case anything tragic happens en-route.

Prince Charles, who was recently "reduced to tears" over his son's speech on royal succession, and Prince William are unable to travel together, and Prince Charles cannot travel with his mother the Queen.

The couple were able to bend the rules in 2014 when they flew to New Zealand with Prince George, who was just nine months at the time.

The Cambridges have been on other holidays together too, during which they were able to fly with their tots in tow.

The Royal Family’s press office told Newsround: “They had to ask the Queen for permission, but she said yes.

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"While there is no official rule on this, and royal heirs have travelled together in the past, it is something that the Queen has the final say on."

The Queen's paternal cousin Prince William of Gloucester died in a plane crash aged 30 in 1972.

At the time of his birth, he was fourth in line to the throne.

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Prince William was the elder brother of Prince Richard – who is now the Duke of Gloucester, aged 76.

William would have inherited the Dukedom of Gloucester had it not been for his untimely passing.

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