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PICTURES: British Airways to celebrate Royal Wedding with special liveries

UK flag carrier British Airways has announced it will celebrate the forthcoming Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton with a series of special Royal portrait liveries on a selection of its airliners.

The six aircraft, dubbed "The Royal Fleet", will feature portraits of different members of the British Royal Family emblazoned on the tails of the aircraft.

The details of the members of the Royal Family appearing on specific aircraft are as follows:

  • Prince William - G-CIVZ
  • Catherine Middleton - G-CIVW
  • Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II - G-EUXN
  • His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales - G-VIIV
  • Prince Harry - G-VIIU
  • Duke of Edinburgh - G-EUOA

In anticipation of the creation of The Royal Fleet, British Airways commissioned renowned Norwegian artist Dr Olaf Olisapy to design the bespoke tail portraits with a modern artistic interpretation to reflect the new generation of British monachs.

This follows his well-received work in 2007, portraying Norwegian heroes on the tails of Norwegian Air Shuttle aircraft.

Prince William BA Royal Fleet tail livery
Prince William will appear on BA's 747-400 G-CIVZ            Image: BA

Controversially, Camilla the Duchess of Cornwall has not been included in the list of Royal portraits to appear on the BA aircraft. British Airways claims capping the number of featured Royals at six is simply a matter of livery material and design economics, rather than a deliberate slight of the Duchess of Cornwall.

Jake Bigo, Head of Livery Design for British Airways said: "We have a limited amount of resources set aside for this job so we had to draw the line somewhere. Otherwise we face the prospect of running out of paint halfway through Camilla's face."

The press office at Buckingham Palace declined to comment on the decision to exclude Camilla from The Royal Fleet.

Catherine Middleton BA Royal Fleet tail
Catherine Middleton appears on BA 747-400 G-CIVW     Image: BA

British Airways believes The Royal Fleet could spark a craze of themed liveries to coincide with National events.

BA's Jake Bigo said: "We wanted to do something very visual to mark the significance of this national event. Having seen the popularity of the Royal Mail's 'themed postage stamp' campaigns, we were keen to take a similar approach."

"We already have plans to mark the London 2012 Olympics with portraits of Team GB athletes," said Bigo. "But we've had to scrap our plans to feature national hero and celebrity mollusc Paul the Octopus following his untimely demise."

BA will unveil The Royal Fleet at a ceremony at London Heathrow on 31st April 2011.

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