15 British Royal Family Travel Secrets You Never Knew
You’ll envy their sweet travel perks, but you’ll also want to steal a few of their nifty travel tips for your next trip!
They must learn how to greet people in multiple languages
As representatives of the United Kingdom and British monarchy, it is essential that each royal learns the basic greetings in each country’s native language before they visit. “The internal palace aids will always be on hand to prepare each royal before an important visit,” says Myka Meier, founder of Beaumont Etiquette. “It is the correct protocol to practice the etiquette of the country or culture you are visiting, in order to show respect, so each royal knows how to make the best first impression.” Check out these 14 other etiquette rules that every royal must follow.
They pack supplies of their own blood
A personal blood bag doesn’t usually make your packing checklist for trips, but for the royals anything is possible. According to the Telegraph, the queen and her son Prince Charles always bring their own personal bags of blood with them to countries where the blood supply is questionable. But in order to do an blood transfusion, you need to have a doctor on hand, which is why a Royal Navy doctor accompanies every royal on his or her trip for emergencies.
They take extremely short trips
From a commoner’s point-of-view, the royals have a pretty cool job that lets them fly to countries all across the globe from Australia to Sweden. But the reality is that they don’t get to sightsee as much as you’d think. If anything, these fun getaways are nothing more than your average business trip. “Touring the world meeting heads of state and being shown cultural treasures sounds like a wonderful life,” Gordon Rayner, a royal tour veteran reporter, told the Telegraph. “Yet I have no envy for the royal family. Their visits to world-famous sites rarely last more than 40 minutes.”
They BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze)
Instead of starting a bar tab, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla Parker-Bowles usually bring their own secret stash of booze for trips—gin and tonic for him and red wine for her. “They sometimes take their own alcohol so there’s no danger of their drinks being spiked,” Rayner told the Express. “Their police bodyguard will discreetly carry a bag of their drinks.” Besides the royal family’s drinking habits, here are 13 foods Queen Elizabeth eats every day.
They always pack a black outfit
No, the royals don’t pack a black outfit for a black-tie affair. It’s actually a precautionary measure for in case a loved one dies while they’re abroad. This royal protocol is to ensure that the royal family members are appropriately dressed in the traditional mourning attire when they return to the United Kingdom. In 1952, Queen Elizabeth II was touring Kenya with Prince Philip when she got word that her father King George VI died. Unfortunately, she made a big mistake—neglecting to pack a black dress. Upon her return to the motherland, she couldn’t leave the plane until a member of her staff had properly delivered a black dress for her to wear off the flight. Here are 10 more dress code rules that everyone in the royal family must abide by.
The queen never leaves home without her jet lag remedy in hand
As the United Kingdom’s longest reigning monarch, let’s just say that Queen Elizabeth II doesn’t exactly bounce back from jet lag at 91 as well as she did in her youth. Before every trip, the queen always stocks up on barley sugar to quell her exhaustion and fatigue from jet setting to different time zones. “What the queen is doing by having barley sugar is essentially using her body’s sugar metabolic pathways to help adjust her body clock,” Nick Knight, PhD, a specialist in lifestyle medicine, told the Telegraph. If barley sugar doesn’t appeal to your taste buds, Knight says you can re-synchronize your body clock by keeping your “eating and sleeping habits in line with your new destination’s time zone—both en route and on arrival.” Don’t miss these 10 more things the queen can’t travel without.
No two royal heirs can ever travel together
Although it’s not official royal protocol, it’s technically standard royal practice for the heirs to the throne to travel separately just in case of a fatal accident to preserve royal lineage. Of course, Prince William and Kate Middleton have broken that rule numerous times as they disembark the same plane with their wee ones Prince George and Princess Charlotte in hand. “While there is no official rule on this, it is something that the Queen has the final say on,” a royal spokesman once said according to the Sun. In recent years, the queen has become much more lenient in regards to this ‘rule’ because the tradition started in the earlier days of air travel when it was much riskier to fly.
They need to go through immigration just like the rest of us
A person bearing the title of “Royal Highness” may give him or her a lot of privileges, but exclusion from every country’s standard customs procedures is not one of them. Every royal member is even required to have a passport, that is, except for Queen Elizabeth II. She gets to bypass this stipulation because the United Kingdom passports are issued in her name, according to the royals’ official website. Despite her special treatment, she still has to go through an identity check when she’s flying in and out of the U.K.—even if her name and face is plastered all over the country. Learn the 8 words you’ll never, ever hear the British royals say.
They color-code their luggage
The royal aides keep the British monarchy organized in their travels using a color-coded luggage tag system. The queen often gets a big yellow tag labelled “The Queen” and Kate Middleton will even get yellow sometimes. Prince William and Prince Charles typically don red on their luggage, Princess Anne has green, and Prince George gets blue, according to the Express.
They have a huge travel budget
The royal family spent $5.8 million in travel fees alone in 2017, according to Hello! magazine. You could buy a home that looks like an English Manor in Atlanta, Georgia for that price! In fact, In fact, a single trip for the royals can cost up to six figures. Prince Charles wins the award for “Most Expensive Royal Family Trip” when he visited Italy, Romania, and Austria in 2016—a trip that totaled just under $200,000. But most of the royal expenditures go towards flights on the queen’s helicopter or aircraft charters for overseas visits, according to this book. These are 15 perks of being a member of the royal family.