Countess of Wessex takes three helicopter trips costing £3,000 to travel 87 ...

 Her husband has already been dubbed ‘Air Miles Eddie’ for his extravagant travel arrangements.

Now, Sophie, Countess of Wessex has saddled the taxpayer with an estimated bill of £3,000 by taking three trips by helicopter to travel a total of just 87 miles.

The flights on Tuesday came only hours before accounts revealed that Royal travel cost the public £4.7 million last year.

Sophie, Countess of Wessex took three helicopter trips costing £3,000 to travel just 87 miles

Sophie, Countess of Wessex took three helicopter trips costing £3,000 to travel just 87 miles

Flying visit: The Countess boarding her helicopter in Harlow to take a 14-mile trip

Flying visit: The Countess boarding her helicopter in Harlow to take a 14-mile trip

Sophie’s jaunts began from Kensington Palace, where she went after attending an NSPCC fundraising event in exclusive private member’s club Annabel’s in Berkeley Square.

She was driven from the West London residence to a waiting Sikorsky S76C for the 22-mile journey to Harlow in Essex.

The helicopter landed 11 minutes later on a playing field, where a Range Rover was waiting to drive her just over half a mile to the town’s Playhouse Theatre.

There, she watched a performance by the Razed Roof Theatre Group before heading back to the helicopter, clutching a bunch of flowers she had been given.

They were hardly likely to wilt during the next stage of her trip, a 14-mile flight to a field near the village of Ingatestone that took just six minutes.

From there, she was driven to the Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary at nearby Buttsbury, which is celebrating its 35th anniversary. Sophie, a horse-lover, has been a patron of the charity since 2013.

After a tour of the facilities and a brief lunch, she returned to the helicopter for the 51-mile journey home to Bagshot Park in Surrey, landing 23 minutes later.

According to the AA Route Planner, it would have taken just over three hours for Sophie to have been driven to both engagements and then back home, a total distance of 121 miles by the fastest roads. The Countess of Wessex carried out 218 engagements in the UK and overseas last year, while Prince Harry had 209 and

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