Prince William pays secret visit to Britain’s spy headquarters
It is believed that he spent around four hours meeting staff and finding out about the maximum security ‘listening station’ which monitors electronic traffic around the world. The visit followed reports that William and other young Royals had been warned to change their email addresses and cut back on their use of social media over fears that they could be targeted by foreign spies and hackers.
The official visit to the doughnut-shaped building was not publicised on the Court Circular which lists public engagements. It would have remained secret if William had not been spotted by office workers as he arrived in a Queen’s Flight helicopter at Gloucestershire Airport on Thursday morning. The car was waiting for him, along with his bodyguards in a Range Rover, to drive him two miles to the communications monitoring base. William returned to the airport around four hours later at 1.30pm and was flown back to Kensington Palace as a rear seat passenger in the 178mph helicopter.
One onlooker said: “William was dressed casually in a shirt and V neck sweater and what looked like beige chino trousers. We guessed it was going to be a member of the Royal family on board when we saw the helicopter, but it was quite a surprise to see him”.
A GCHQ spokesman said: “The prince paid a visit to GCHQ on March 19. As it was a private visit, we cannot go into the details of his itinerary”.
A Kensington Palace spokeswoman refused to give any details of the visit other than describing it as a private visit which was in an official capacity.
The spokeswoman added: “The visit was in a private capacity. The travel costs for it will fall within the official Royal Travel budget”.
Gloucestershire Airport is home to Bond Air Services which will soon be employing Prince William as a helicopter pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance charity. But he chose not to visit the company during his time at the airport.