For a working member of the Royal Family, travel is an inescapable part of the job. Although some of the typically stressful elements of travel are avoided, there are still many rules and protocols to be followed.

Separate flights

One of the most important travel rules for the British Royal Family is for senior members to try and avoid flying on the same plane. The simple reason for this is to try and preserve the line of succession in the unlikely event of an air disaster. The rule has never been set in stone, but in an ideal world, Prince William should try and avoid being on the same flight as his father or children. Much improved aviation safety has softened the rule, an example of which came in 2014, when the Queen gave permission for Prince William to fly with his wife and Prince George on their tour of Australia.

An outfit for every occasion

When travelling abroad, packing appropriate outfits is a crucial part of the planning process. Choosing clothing that is sympathetic to the culture of the destination is a key consideration with outfits by local designers often being worn. When Prince William and Kate Middleton visited India and Bhutan in 2016, Kate was pictured wearing a hand-selected blue and white dress by Indian-American designer Naeem Khan. 

When the Queen is travelling, she insists on looser clothing of 100% wool or cotton for comfort, while crease-prone linen is strictly forbidden. Every outfit is duplicated should an unfortunate spill necessitate a change of clothes. All of her clothes are hand-washed, steamed and pressed by one of her 12 strong wardrobe teams to avoid the use of any harsh chemicals.

A somewhat morbid rule for royal trips dictates that an all-black outfit must be on hand in case of a death in the family while abroad. When the Queen returned from Kenya following the death of her father, King George VI, in 1952, she had to wait on the plane until someone brought her a suitably sombre outfit to reflect the period of mourning.

Personal doctor

One person who is always at the Queen’s side when travelling is a personal Royal Navy doctor. Emergency medicine and a mobile defibrillator are always on hand, as is knowledge of local hospitals should the need arise. On some occasions, personal packs of blood are taken if the local supply is unreliable. While the younger members of the Royal Family travel without a medic, Prince Charles has the same provisions made for him when on royal visits.

No passport required

One travel mishap that will never affect the Queen is a misplaced passport. Seeing as they are issued on her behalf, she is not required to possess one. Having said this, she is still required to give her full name, age, address, nationality, gender and place of birth to officials when entering or leaving Britain. Unfortunately for other members of the Royal Family, it is only the monarch who enjoys this privilege, so Prince Charles will have to wait in line in more ways than one.

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