Prince William has been gifted a luxury helicopter by the Queen.

Dubbed 'Heirforce One, ' the new chopper will allow William and wife Kate Middleton to make speedy arrivals at official engagements, giving them more time to spend at home with Prince George.

The six-year-old Agusta A109S Grand has a top speed of 180mph, covering a maximum distance of more than 530 miles.

The helicopter, which will be leased out by the Queen, was said to be "better value for money" than scheduling individuals flights and would also enable other members of the royal family to travel in the helicopter when necessary.

It will also speed up security procedures since checks would only will need to be carried out on just one aircraft rather than several.

While the Duke of Cambridge is a qualified RAF helicopter pilot, it is not known whether he will fly the aircraft himself.

Prince William who is trained to fly RAF Sea King helicopters, started his flying training in 2009 at RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales, where he learnt to pilot search and rescue aircraft.

Flight Lieutenant Wales as he is known in the military, landed a Sea King helicopter on water during a tour of Canada in 2011.

He also took to the skies above the Falkland Islands during a six-week deployment the following year.

The gift may well be a birthday present from the Queen, as Prince William celebrates his 32nd birthday today.