Prince Harry has joined a helicopter club in California so he can take Meghan Markle & Archie on trips, insider claims

PRINCE Harry has joined a helicopter club in California so he can take Meghan Markle and Archie on family trips, a source claims. 

The Duke of Sussex, 36, qualified as an Apache helicopter commander in 2013 but is keen to helicopter licence current up-to-date or it won’t be renewed. 

A source told Fabulous: “Harry has joined a local flying club in California so that he can keep his helicopter licence current.

“You know you have to do a number of hours per year otherwise your licence won’t be renewed, and that applies in the US as much as it does in the UK.”

A friend of Harry’s added: "He’s very proud of that licence; he worked hard to get first the basic and then the Apache.

“He’s hardly likely to be recalled for military service in England again but he wants to keep the hours up for personal use, so he and Meghan can just take off for expeditions if they want to. 

“Having your own licence gives you that freedom.”

The source added that the prince doesn’t have his own helicopter, “at least yet”, but added that there “will be plenty of rich benefactors with helicopters who would love the royal association.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stepped down as senior royals in March, and have now bought an £11million mansion in Santa Barbara to live in with baby Archie, one. 

It emerged that the cost of running the large pad could reach over £5million a year, but the couple have just secured a £112million deal with Netflix to produce documentaries, films and shows. 

Prince Harry first embarked on his helicopter pilot training in December 2008, when he passed his Army Air Corps "Grading" and Pilot’s Selection Board interview to begin training to become an Army Air Corps Pilot. 

During his time in the Army Air Corps he was assigned to 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment within 16 Air Assault Brigade.

He was awarded a prize for best co-pilot gunner when he first qualified as an Apache pilot in February 2012.

Harry later qualified as an Apache helicopter commander in 2013 after three years of training.

While on a five-month tour in Afghanistan, he served as a co-pilot gunner – sharing flying duties and taking control of the weapons of the two-man Apache.

“Eco-friendly” Prince Harry, who launched his eco-tourism project Travelyst last year, may have to watch his carbon footprint if he takes up frequent flying. 

Earlier this year, Prince Charles faced criticism for doing a 125-mile helicopter ride from Highgrove to Cambridge to give a climate change speech. 

The full helicopter journey caused carbon emissions of around 2.5 tonnes, used hundreds of gallons of aviation fuel and cost at least £12,000, according to experts.

If the Prince had travelled by car he could have slashed his carbon footprint down to around 0.2tonnes.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle came under fire for using private jets despite lecturing the public on the effects of climate change last year. 

It was revealed the Duke of Sussex had used private jets for six out of ten flights since marrying Meghan – despite claiming to travel commercial "99 per cent" of the time.

Harry and Megham used a charter flight six times last summer while urging the public to watch their carbon footprint.

Harry said at the launch of Travelyst that he always ensures his travel is carbon neutral.

The Prince said: "Occasionally, there needs to be an opportunity based on a unique circumstance to ensure that my family are safe, it's genuinely as simple as that.

"As I said in my speech – it is about balance. If I have to do that – and it's not a decision I would want to take – I would ensure, as I have done previously and I will continue to make sure I do, is balance. I have always offset my CO2."

We shared how Meghan and Prince Harry have donated £100k to charity close to their hearts to match Sussex Squad donations.

Previously, Meghan Markle fans slam ‘shady’ royals for leaving Duchess out of Prince Harry birthday posts.

And a royal expert has said Prince Harry is ‘happier than ever’ as he turns the same age Princess Diana was when she died at 36.

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