9 Things Queen Elizabeth Always Travels With (and the 1 Thing She Never Brings)

Queen Elizabeth waving

Queen Elizabeth has logged thousands of travel miles during her reign. | Ben Stansall/Getty Images

It should come as no surprise that the royal family doesn’t travel like us common folk. While we’re cramming as many pairs of shoes as we can into our overstuffed suitcases, they have color-coded luggage and, of course, people to carry it for them.

It’s possible to catch sight of a royal family member on a commercial flight. But when it comes to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, don’t expect to be sharing an armrest on your next jaunt across the pond. The queen has logged thousands upon thousands of air miles since ascending the throne in 1952 — in fact, the Press Association reported that all of her air miles equate to more than 42 trips around the world. And she’s been to more than 60% of all the world’s countries.

Over time, she’s gotten very particular over what gets packed into her bag. Ahead, check out the items she always brings — and the one thing you’ll never see her carrying.

1. She stocks sugary sweets

The sweets in the queen’s suitcase aren’t just there to satisfy her sweet tooth — she reportedly sucks on barley sugar boiled candies to combat jet lag. As Dr. Nick Knight told The Telegraph, “Carrying out your daily habits like eating and sleeping in line with your new destination’s time zone — both en-route and on arrival — helps re-synchronise our body clock to our new environment. What the queen is doing by having barley sugar is essentially using her body’s sugar metabolic pathways to help adjust her body clock.”

In other words — she’s a highly experienced traveler.

Next: This travel essential is fairly morbid.

2. She brings her own blood

blood bag

She’s prepared for medical emergencies. | JarekJoepera/iStock/Getty Images

It may be slightly morbid, but it’s also smart. Both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip keep a stock of their own blood on hand during any travel excursions. They also make sure that a Royal Naval doctor is always part of the royal entourage in case of any medical emergencies. You can never be too careful — especially when you happen to be the queen of England.

Next: She always packs this specific color for a sad reason.

3. There are tons of colorful ensembles — and always 1 black outfit

Queen Elizabeth greeting a crowd

She enjoys colorful clothes. | Chris Jackson/Getty Images

All members of the royal family are required to pack at least one black outfit suitable for mourning whenever they travel.

If you watched the hit show The Crown, then you already know the reasoning behind this somber custom. Queen Elizabeth learned of her father’s passing on a 1952 trip to Kenya. She had nothing appropriate to wear on her return home, so she had to wait on board the plane for a black dress to be brought to her before she could disembark.

The “always travel with funeral clothing” rule was established to keep that from ever happening again.

Next: This is the bathroom essential that the queen always brings.

4. She ensures her trips to the privy are up to par

toilet paper

She travels with her own special toilet paper. | iStock.com/Fotofid

Anyone expecting the queen reportedly worries about bathrooms excessively. One aide told the Telegraph, “Hosts spend more time worrying about the loo arrangements than anything else, down to what colour the towels should be and whether the loo roll is a suitable brand.”

But ultimately that worrying is all for naught. The queen travels with her own special toilet paper, complete with a seal to prove it’s a new roll. There are some things in life that one should not compromise on.

Next: This is the queen’s most old-school habit.

5. A handwritten schedule keeps the queen on track


All her aides have a handwritten itinerary. | iStock.com/die-phalanx

Forget Google calendars — when the queen wants to stick to a schedule, she goes analog.

Every aspect of a royal trip is planned down to what time the queen will arrive and depart each stop. It’s important to stay organized, which is why every aide on the trip carries a copy of the handwritten itinerary. That way, if there’s an error, no one can blame a technology malfunction.

Next: Here’s proof of how much she loves her family.

6. She brings framed family photos

Prince William, Kate Middleton, and their kids walking outside

The queen loves her family. | Andrew Matthews-WPA Pool/Getty Images

She may have a stiff upper lip, but the queen also has a soft spot for her family. She always takes framed photos of her family members with her while she travels to help curb homesickness.

Next: She won’t leave home without this item.

7. She doesn’t leave home without her tea kettle and Earl Grey tea

Cup of tea on a blue stone background

She comes prepared for tea time. | Anna Pustynnikova/iStock/Getty Images

Though she certainly travels to plenty of places that have tea, the queen prefers to bring her own. She packs a monogrammed tea kettle and a stash of Earl Grey tea in her bag whenever she travels.

Next: This one specific brand is her favorite.

8. The queen takes her own food and beverages

Queen Elizabeth sipping a drink

She brings along her comfort foods. | Yui Mok-WPA Pool/Getty Images

When you’re entertaining the queen, no doubt you’ll hire the finest chefs to prepare the most exquisite foods you can imagine. Just don’t be surprised if she’s not particularly hungry.

The queen travels with Harrods sausages, which is said to be one of her favorite comfort foods. She also takes all the ingredients for her preferred alcoholic beverage: gin, Dubonnet (a sweet wine-based aperitif), and a slice of lemon.

Next: This is why the queen doesn’t use travel-sized items.

9. She always packs pine-scented soap

orchid, white towels, and soaps

She prefers a specific soap. | iStock.com/Guescri

Smell has a powerful association with memory, which is probably why the queen always packs a very specific pine-scented soap rather than just pilfering the one from the hotel like everyone else does.

Bringing soap with this scent probably reminds the queen of home and offers a comfortable, familiar feeling, even when she’s away for weeks at a time.

Next: And the one thing she doesn’t bring …

10. But she doesn’t bring along her passport

Queen Elizabeth II walks down the stairs of her plane upon her arrival with Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, at Tegel airport

She’s not required to have one. | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Every royal family member is required to travel with a passport — except for Queen Elizabeth II.

While traveling, she must submit to an identity check and provide her full name, age, address, nationality, birth place, and gender. But we’re pretty sure everyone knows who she is by sight and it’s just a formality.

Read more: Behind-the-Scenes Secrets of How the Royal Family Travels

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