7 Bizarre Things the Queen Packs for Travel (And One Thing She Doesn't)

7 Bizarre Things the Queen Packs for Travel (And One Thing She Doesn't)

Royal protocols require it.

By Karen Gardiner
Digital Original
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As one of the best-traveled heads of state in history, Queen Elizabeth II has certainly learned how to pack a bag — even if she's unlikely to ever have to carry it around herself. Let's take a peek inside her majesty's stylish suitcase — incidentally, she picked out the Globe-Trotter brand for her honeymoon luggage in 1947 and continues to use her cases to this day — and find out what essential items to pack in order to travel like the U.K Queen.

1. A monogrammed kettle

A 2015 survey revealed that about half of British people pack teabags when traveling abroad — which tells us that not even a trip to a far-flung locale can get between British people and their tea. That includes the Queen who, according to the Telegraph, always packs a monogrammed kettle and Earl Grey tea (no word on whether loose leafed or bagged).

2. A hot water bottle

Sleeping in the even finest beds in the world is apparently no match for the comforts of the Queen's home. That's why she travels with her own hot water bottle, which she likes to have tucked between her silken sheets. Not that she fills it herself, of course. Witness this small drama when a housemaid forgot to prepare the bottle for her majesty's bed. The poor housemaid quickly got the chop, even though the Queen herself didn't seem too bothered. "The Queen was amused to have to do it herself," her senior aide told the Daily Mail. "I think she found it quite a novelty." How lovely for her.

3. Her own blood

The Queen is, of course, a pretty big deal, and so, to ensure nothing goes awry with her very valuable health, a doctor from the Royal Navy researches local hospitals pre-departure and accompanies her on her tours, never more than a few feet away and carrying a well-stocked medical bag, which includes a mobile defibrillator. Moreover, according to the Telegraph, "in countries where a reliable blood supply is questionable, the Queen and the Prince of Wales both travel with their own personal packs of blood following in their convoy wherever they go."

4. An all-black wardrobe

The royals are mere mortals, after all, an inconvenient fact that influences every member of the family's packing list. Family members must pack an all-black, funeral-ready, outfit in the event of another family member dying while they are away, guaranteeing the bereaved would then be appropriately dressed when they return to the U.K. 

5. And bright outfits, too

Hopefully that black outfit stays in the suitcase and the Queen can stick to her preferred bright colors on her walkabouts. According to Reader's Digest, the Queen wants to make sure members of the public can catch sight of her through the crowds. “She needs to stand out for people to be able to say ‘I saw the Queen’,” her daughter-in-law Sophie, Countess of Wessex, said in the documentary The Queen at 90. “Don’t forget that when she turns up somewhere, the crowds are two, three, four, 10, 15 deep, and someone wants to be able to say they saw a bit of the queen’s hat as she went past.”

6. Her special jet-lag remedy

All eyes are on the Queen from the moment she touches down, so she really has no time to deal with the nuisance of jet lag. Luckily she's figured out a method that keeps the ill effects of long distance travel at bay: sugar barley. 

7. Her beloved corgis

The Queen has owned more than 30 corgis during her reign, and where she goes, they come too (within reason). According to the Telegraph, "she even smuggled one of them along in the car when she and Philip set off on their 1947 honeymoon in Hampshire. They also fly with her up to Scotland and back on a regular basis."

And the one thing she doesn't pack:

The Queen requires no passport to travel for British passports are actually issued in her name. Basically, she is a passport.

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