The Queen of England is reportedly in the market for a private jet, for exclusive use by the Royal Family... and, its pets. For a price tag of seven million Pounds (nearly $ 13,000,000 US) designs from four major aircraft manufacturers have reportedly been requested.
Learjet, Hawker Beechcraft, Cessna and Gulfstream are expected to tender their bids on Wednesday, according to The Sun. Whether the Royal Family intends to lease the aircraft or purchase it outright is speculative.
Buckingham Palace spokeswoman Colette Sanders refused to confirm the report, saying, "The Department of Transport has already announced the 32 (Royal) squadron will not be replaced in April 2009. Instead the Government agreed to fund an aircraft for the use of the Prime Minister, foreign office, and Royal Family."
When the VIP jets have already been in use, the Royals have chartered aircraft, at great expense. Five and a half million Pounds were spent just last year on official travel, which "prompted the Queen to opt for a private jet," The Sun´s source said.
Apparently weary of having to share use of VIP aircraft with government and military officials, The Sun´s source reports that the Queen intends to purchase the aircraft herself. Although denied by Saunders, the tabloid maintains that an official Buckingham Palace spokesperson said, "The jet will be solely for the Royal Family for official engagements."