Flying Princes, Royal Scandal and Druggie Rockers

Here are some of the stories that made it to the front pages of U.K. tabloids.

January 8, 2009, 12:23 AM

LONDON, April 16, 2008 — -- Less than a week after being certified as a pilot, Britain's Prince William took to the skies, flying a $20 million RAF (Royal Air Force) helicopter to his cousin's three-day bachelor party in the Isle of Wight.

The news made it to the front page of the U.K. tabloid The Daily Mail, which revealed that the prince — second in line to the throne — also made a pit-stop in London to pick up his younger brother, Harry.

The pair then spent the next three days touring the island's clubs and pubs and, according to one eyewitness quoted by the Mail, even daring a girl in one pub to bare her breasts.

When news of the prince's unusual trip leaked out, the RAF defended it as "legitimate training" for teaching the young man how to fly over water.

But members of parliament did not react so well, with many criticizing the RAF for allowing the young royal to use the Chinook as a de facto taxi service, especially at a time when British troops in Afghanistan are facing a shortage of such helicopters.

Drugs During Detox

The tabloid The Sun led with an exclusive look at rocker Pete Doherty's jail cell. Doherty, 29, is perhaps best-known for his on-and-off relationship with British supermodel and tabloid staple Kate Moss.

He was sent to jail last week for three and a half months after he failed to take court-ordered drug tests.

The Sun today claimed that the singer was shooting up heroin during his stint in the prison's detox unit. The newspaper quoted a fellow inmate saying that "Pete always has a need to feed his habit."

Doctors have been giving the singer the heroin substitute methadone to get him off drugs, but judging from today's report, those efforts seem to be in vain.

Doherty "hasn't received his prison wage yet so he's getting the drugs on credit and writing IOUs," according to the inmate quoted by The Sun.

The inmate also said that prison officers have been treating the rocker like a star, asking for his autograph.

Married Royals Indulging in Gay Sex

Doherty's story is not the most lurid among today's tabloid headlines.

That honor is reserved for a court case involving allegations of gay sex against a married member of the Royal Family.

Two men, Ian Strachan, 31, and Sean McGuigan, 41, have been accused of blackmailing the royal — who cannot be named for legal reasons — between July and September last year.

The two men were arrested after an underground sting by police last year. Both have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The case in question concerns videotaped allegations by a former staff member working for the royal.

In the recording, the man claims that his boss carried out a sex act on him during a party with a lap-dancer known as Cindy. He also accuses his employer of financial impropriety in his business dealings.

Strachan and McGuigan are said to have approached many British tabloids with the footage between March and July of last year.

When none of the newspapers agreed to run the story, they went to the royal, demanding $100,000 in exchange for the tapes.

The royal, however, went to the police, who then arranged a sting operation to nab the men and end the blackmail.

Four Cars Crash During High-Speed Chase

The five police officers chasing a stolen silver Bentley worth $240,000 near the English village of Bransgore were not so lucky.

All five officers were injured when they crashed three police cars during their high-speed pursuit of the stolen car in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

The Bentley — stolen by three teenagers — swerved off the road and landed on its roof.

Debris from the Bentley's crash — its hood, front grille, and one of its tires — ended up on the road.

The first police car crashed into this debris, with the second police car smashed into the back of the first one. Then, the third car veered off to avoid crashing into the other two, and wound up plunging off the road.

The three teenagers driving the stolen car also suffered minor injuries, and have now been arrested for burglary.

Teen Actress Gets Crash Course in Managing Millions

One teenager who can buy her own Bentley without too much trouble is Harry Potter actress Emma Jane Watson, who turned 18 Tuesday.

Watson will now have access to her $21 million fortune, but only after she agreed to enroll in a crash course on managing her millions.

The Daily Mail reported that Watson's parents enrolled her in the course handled by Coutts, bankers for The Queen of England.

The course included talks with private bankers, a tour of the bank vaults, lessons in economics 101, and a seminar on how to read the business pages, led by the managing editor of the Financial Times.

The English actress, who reportedly earned $5 million for the latest Harry Potter film, was also told about charitable giving and self-branding. A source close to the Watsons told the Mail that she is keen to contribute to children's charities.

Her Harry Potter co-star, Daniel Radcliffe, is also believed to have his $48 million fortune managed by Coutts.