Caribbean charm: The Queen and Princess Margaret in Mustique in 1977
Nobody has ever attempted to tot up all of the miles but it surely must run into the hundreds of thousands. The Queen has definitely travelled further than all of her predecessors put together.
That is, partially, all the way down to technology. She has been fortunate to have reigned within the age of the jet engine, although she was globetrotting by sea long before long-haul flights. It’s also, partially, all the way down to politics.
She has reigned through an era of world peace which has not only made travel an excellent deal safer and easier than it was for her predecessors. It has also made it necessary for her to take care of existing friendships and alliances by a gentle round of state visits and tours.
The opposite key factor has been her robust health. She has, on the entire, been an excellent traveller.
From her very first overseas tour, to South Africa in 1947, to her last foray abroad, to Malta in 2015, she has stuck to certain rules. She has at all times avoided shellfish (too dangerous) and stringy pasta (too messy).
She has at all times been accompanied by a ready supply of Malvern water (to be on the secure side) and the red boxes have never been far behind. When possible, she has also preferred to avoid helicopters (ever since a senior aide was killed in a single).
She has never needed to worry in regards to the more irksome travel problems faced by the remainder of us. No flight or train was ever going to go away without her. Her luggage has never ended up in Miami when it was speculated to be in Manchester. Nevertheless, on the debit side, she has never been capable of go anywhere on a whim; or to tear up her plans on the last minute and head for the beach. As for mixing in with the locals, forget it.
Nevertheless, one thing has at all times been true. When the Queen has been somewhere, her hosts have at all times wanted to point out her the best of what they need to offer.
So, as we mark the Platinum Jubilee of essentially the most widely-travelled head of state on Earth, let’s have fun all of the places she has been to along the way in which.
Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in Malta in 1949. ‘[The Queen] has never needed to worry in regards to the more irksome travel problems faced by the remainder of us,’ says Robert Hardman. ‘No flight or train was ever going to go away without her’
Nineteen Fifties: NEWLY CROWNED
With King George VI laid low through illness, Princess Elizabeth and her husband were expected to travel the world on his behalf. In 1951, they made their first trans-Atlantic tour of North America, crossing Canada coast to coast in a special train.
They’d a go at square-dancing (providing a rare picture of Prince Philip in jeans) and went for a ride in a horse-drawn sleigh. Within the U.S., the long run Queen paid her first visit to the White House as a guest of President Truman.
At the beginning of 1952, the Princess and the Duke of Edinburgh had to go away Prince Charles and Princess Anne behind once more as they set off around the world for Australia, on behalf of the King. Their first major stop was Kenya where they travelled from Nairobi to Nyeri to view Sagana Lodge, a marriage present from the Kenyan government.
While there, they spent a magical night in a large treehouse within the Aberdare National Park, inspecting wildlife. Throughout the course of that night, the sudden death of the King meant that, when the Princess got here down from the tree, she was Queen.
Once the Coronation was over, it was time to begin replanning that round-the-world tour. This time, the royal couple would travel in the other way, via Bermuda and Jamaica after which by ship through the Panama Canal to the Pacific. After stops in Fiji and Tonga, the Queen arrived in Latest Zealand in time for Christmas. Her arrival in Australia drew the most important crowds within the country’s entire history, as she visited all over the place from Bondi Beach to the Outback.
The Queen is pictured here in Brisbane, Australia, in 1977 during her Silver Jubilee celebrations
The tour returned via Ceylon after which the Mediterranean where, in Libya, the couple were introduced to a recent mode of transport. The newly-completed Royal Yacht sailed out to satisfy them — carrying their children —they usually all sailed home together.
In 1955, the Queen made her first state visit to Norway followed, a yr later, by one to Sweden. In 1957, she made two particularly significant state visits to key allies. Within the aftermath of the Suez debacle, she travelled to France. In Paris, a dinner on the Louvre was enlivened when the Queen revealed that she had never seen the Mona Lisa.
Moments later, two workmen appeared and leaned it next to a chair. On a visit to the U.S., meanwhile, she had her first glimpse of a supermarket — and a visit to the highest of the Empire State Constructing.
HOW TO DO IT: Sixteen-day coast-to-coast train holidays in Canada from £4,695 pp with hotels and flights (greatrail.com). Thirteen-day ‘East Africa Safari Tours’ from £7,499 pp with hotels and flights (hayesandjarvis.co.uk). 4-night breaks in Washington DC with hotel and flights from £843 pp (virginholidays.co.uk).
Nineteen Sixties: AN EPIC DECADE
Having avoided travel while she was expecting Prince Andrew, the Queen launched into a series of epic Commonwealth tours in 1961, starting in India.
Tens of millions turned out to greet her in Delhi, while she arrived in Jaipur by elephant and viewed the Taj Mahal by moonlight.
There was polo in Pakistan and a tiger hunt laid on by the King of Nepal (the Duke of Edinburgh developed a mysterious infection on his trigger finger which conveniently prevented him from shooting). Her final stop was to stick with the Shah of Iran. Later within the yr, her African tour was best remembered for the sight of the Queen dancing with the brand new president of republican Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah.
Her 1965 state visit to Germany was seen as an important step in securing a recent post-war friendship. Arriving on the Schloss Bruhl, near Cologne, she wowed her hosts by wearing a dress which matched the decor of the castle. The following yr saw her first full tour of the Caribbean where Jamaica was holding the Commonwealth Games.
By the tip of the last decade, the Queen became the primary reigning monarch to tour South America. Her visits to Brazil and Chile coincided with the very first royal TV documentary. Filmed in color, Royal Family showed her sailing into Rio within the Royal Yacht and receiving a ticker-tape welcome on the Copacabana.
HOW TO DO IT: Eleven-day tours of India covering the Taj Mahal and Jaipur from £2,770 pp including hotels and flights (audleytravel.com). Thirteen-day guided tours of Ghana from £2,840 pp, excluding flights (responsibletravel.com).
Nineteen Seventies: FAR FLUNG
The Queen meets Maoris while on tour in Latest Zealand in her Silver Jubilee yr
The Queen during a walkabout in Muscat during a state visit to Oman in March 1979
There have been loads of trips to Australia and Latest Zealand all through the last decade, not least to open the brand new Sydney Opera House in 1973. By now, jet travel had made long-distance trips easier.
In 1972, the Queen made her first visit to a communist country when she stayed with President Tito of Yugoslavia. Huge crowds in Belgrade and Zagreb were followed by a visit to his holiday home on the Brioni Islands. In the identical yr, she returned to France where she heralded Britain’s entry to the EEC, visited Provence and saw her uncle, the Duke of Windsor, for the last time.
Landmark visits to Mexico and Japan were followed by exuberant scenes because the Queen toured the U.S. to have fun 200 years since gaining independence from Britain. Weeks later, she was in Montreal to open the Olympic Games at which Princess Anne was a part of the British equestrian team.
In addition to one other Caribbean tour including her first visit to Mustique, the Queen became the primary female head of state to go to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, in 1979. In Dubai, she opened what was then the tallest constructing within the Middle East, the 39-storey World Trade Centre. She also launched into her first major Africa tour.
HOW TO DO IT: Fourteen-day trips to Sydney and around Latest South Wales from £1,899 pp with flights and hotels (travelbag.co.uk). Six nights in Dubai from £1,001 pp half-board with hotels and flights (travelrepublic.co.uk). Seven nights’ B&B at The Cotton House in Mustique, including flights, from £5,400 pp (elegantresorts.co.uk). Thirteen-night ‘Japan Unmasked’ tours from £2,610 pp with hotels, excluding flights (insidejapantours.com).
Nineteen Eighties: AMERICA BOUND
The Queen is pictured here arriving in Shanghai on October 12, 1986, during an official state visit to China
The last decade began with a ground-breaking tour of French-speaking North Africa, including Tunisia and Algeria. It descended into farce when she arrived in Morocco. The paranoid King Hassan II insisted on altering the schedule on a regular basis for fear of assassination.
On a visit to Marrakesh, the Queen spent a lot of the day waiting for lunch and a dusty horse display on the King’s desert encampment. She never reached Marrakesh. Even monarchs have dreams and bucket lists. In 1983, the Queen finally fulfilled a lifelong ambition when she visited Hollywood and met the celebrities as a guest of President Reagan.
This was the prelude to a series of visits to go to racehorses, ranches and studs in Kentucky and Wyoming.
The Queen in Shanghai on October 15, 1986, with Michael Shea, her press secretary (grey hair on the best), accompanying her. The yellow-and-blue dress with matching hat was by designer Ian Thomas
Her visit to the 1983 Commonwealth summit in India saw a memorable meeting with Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Three years later, one of the crucial spectacular tours of your complete reign brought the Queen to China. Britannia sailed in to Shanghai, the Queen and the Duke walked along the Great Wall and likewise met the Terracotta Warriors of Xi’an.
HOW TO DO IT: Week-long ‘Discover Morocco’ tours from £1,640 pp with hotels and flights (abercrombiekent.co.uk). Seven nights in Los Angeles with hotels and flights from £1,092 pp (thomascook.com). Sixteen-day ‘Wonders of China’ tours from £3,340 pp with hotels and flights (wendywutours.co.uk).
Nineties: EUROPE REVOLUTION
In 1991, within the aftermath of the Gulf War, the Queen visited Washington to stick with President George Bush before heading south to Florida, after which going west to Texas.
Certainly one of the best moments in post-War history, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, led to an entire change of scene for the Queen. With Eastern Europe now opening as much as Western visitors, she could look behind the old Iron Curtain.
There have been vigorous visits to the previous East Germany, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. But essentially the most eye-catching of all of them was the Queen’s 1994 state visit to Russia where she went on a walkabout in Red Square. Unfortunately, Russian security had removed the general public. In St Petersburg, she entertained President Boris Yeltsin to dinner on her yacht.
That very same yr, she enjoyed her last old-style tour of the Caribbean as she visited Jamaica, Belize and the Cayman Islands in Britannia.
There have been visits to France, including one to open the Channel Tunnel and one other to mark the fiftieth anniversary of D-Day. Most poignant of all was the Queen’s return to South Africa, in Britannia, for the primary time since her visit as a young Princess.
Waiting on the quayside was a person who would change into a pricey friend, newly-elected President Nelson Mandela.
Come 1997, it was time to say farewell to her yacht. Britannia had logged greater than 1,000,000 miles at sea before finally being decommissioned after the handover of Hong Kong.
There have been further trips through Africa, including one to the latest member of the Commonwealth, Mozambique.
HOW TO DO IT: One-month continuous rail pass for travel in 33 countries in Europe for a tour of Eastern Europe from £563pp (myinterrail.co.uk). Seven nights at Grand Caymanian Resort on Seven Mile Beach within the Cayman Islands from £1,510 pp with flights (britishairways.com). Twelve-night Texas fly-drive holidays with flights, hotels and rental automobile from £2,099pp (americansky.co.uk).
2000s: OFF TO OZ
The Queen exchanges presents with Pope John Paul II during an audience on the Vatican in Rome on Tuesday, October 17, 2000. Wearing black and wearing a veil, the Queen was greeted by the 80-year-old leader of the Roman Catholic Church on the door of his study. During a personal meeting lasting 20 minutes, they’re thought to have discussed progress towards Christian unity and the troubles in Northern Ireland
In 2000, the Queen was in Italy where she not only saw the sights of Rome once more but additionally visited Milan. At a reception the grandees of the style industry saluted her style.
It was also time for her to return to Australia, having recently been re-endorsed as head of state within the 1999 referendum. She unveiled the brand new Olympic stadium built for the 2000 Sydney Games and travelled to the Outback once more.
During her 2002 Golden Jubilee, she covered most of her Commonwealth realms yet again. During an influence cut in Jamaica, enterprising staff kept the state banquet illuminated using the headlights from their cars.
Amazingly, it had taken until 2011 — and the age of 85 — before the Queen was finally allowed to go to her closest neighbour. Her four-day visit to the Republic of Ireland stays considered one of the highlights of the reign with trips to Croke Park, Guinness’s HQ, a racing stud and the food stalls of Cork’s English Market
There have been still parts of the world she had never seen and, in 2006, she paid her first state visits to the young Baltic republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.
In 2007, she paid her last state visit to the U.S., travelling to Virginia and the Kentucky Derby before being welcomed to the White House by George W. Bush.
HOW TO DO IT: 4-night ‘La Scala’ tours of Milan with hotels, flights, meals and tickets to the opera from £1,790pp (kirkerholidays.com). Flights to Rome from £130 pp (ryanair.com). Nineteen-day escorted ‘Highlights of Australia’ tours from £4,899pp with flights and hotels (titantravel.co.uk).
2010s: WINDING DOWN
Steadily, the Queen was beginning to in the reduction of on long-haul travel. Her visit to the 2011 Commonwealth summit in Western Australia can be her last Down Under. It concluded with an enormous community barbecue in Perth.
Her 2010 tours of Abu Dhabi and Dubai were followed by her visit to the Sultan of Oman who laid on a colossal display of horses and camels, including the world’s only camel-mounted bagpipe band.
Amazingly, it had taken until 2011 — and the age of 85 — before the Queen was finally allowed to go to her closest neighbour. Her four-day visit to the Republic of Ireland stays considered one of the highlights of the reign with trips to Croke Park, Guinness’s HQ, a racing stud and the food stalls of Cork’s English Market.
For her state banquet at Dublin Castle, she not only spoke in Gaelic but had 1,081 shamrocks hand-stitched into her ballgown.
She began to make shorter state visits, including two in a day in 2014 to satisfy the Pope and the President of Italy.
Amazingly, it had taken until 2011 — and the age of 85 — before the Queen was finally allowed to go to her closest neighbour, explains Robert. Her four-day visit to the Republic of Ireland stays considered one of the highlights of the reign with trips to Croke Park, Guinness’s HQ (above), a racing stud and the food stalls of Cork’s English Market
On her 2014 state visit to France, she had a Parisian flower market named after her. The next yr, huge crowds turned out to see her in Germany.
Later in 2015, she made what, up to now, has been her final trip overseas when she attended the Commonwealth summit within the place that meant a lot to her all those years before — Malta.
Nevertheless, nobody has championed the staycation quite like our monarch. For the Queen, there continues to be just one true holiday destination: the Highlands.
HOW TO DO IT: Seven nights on the Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi Grand Canal from £1,216pp (travelsupermarket.com). Seven-day ‘Better of Scottish Highlands’ tours from £784 pp including hotels, excursions, meals and flights (newmarketholidays.co.uk). Seven nights on the Kempinski Hotel Muscat in Oman from £1,781 pp half-board with flights (kuoni.co.uk).
Queen Of Our Times — The Lifetime of Elizabeth II by Robert Hardman is published by Macmillan.