Royal travel: Queen Elizabeth always packs two of these items when travelling – but why?

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Queen Elizabeth II is one of the most well-travelled monarchs in history, having embarked on her first international expedition to South Africa in 1947, aged 20. Since then, experts believe she has spanned the entire globe an impressive 42 times during her life.

It is unsurprising, then, that the monarch has a trick or two up her sleeve when it comes to packing her suitcases.

However, unlike a regular traveller, Her Majesty is not subject to any luggage weight or size restrictions, which means she can take as many items along with her for the journey.

In fact, it has been revealed by royal insiders that the monarch likes to take duplicates of almost every outfit with her – particularly those that will be worn to special events.

According to The Telegraph, Queen Elizabeth brings an entire clothes rail stocked with around 30 different outfits for her trip.

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Queen Elizabeth always ensures she has enough fashion choices (Image: Getty Images)

What’s more, for special events she even takes duplicates of every item of the ensemble, right down to her hat and bag.

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In 2014, the Queen’s official dresser Angela Kelly revealed to the Daily Mail that she ensures a duplicate of every outfit is always on hand in case the Queen accidentally spills anything, or is faced with any other unexpected outfit blunders.

The Queen is then able to discreetly change without anyone noticing.

There is another, more sombre packing rule, that the Queen has put into practice.

After the death of her father King George VI in 1952 the Queen, who was in Kenya, had to rush back to the UK.

However, she did not have a mourning outfit with her and had to wait on the royal plane for a black garment to be brought to her.

Now, she insists on always packing a mourning outfit wherever she goes to avoid a similar mishap.

Following her advice, the rest of the Royal Family, including Prince William and Kate Middleton, also now follow this rule.

Along with packing particular items, the monarch also has some outfit intricacies that her wardrobe item must ensure each ensemble adheres to.

While on a royal tour in New Zealand in 1963, Queen Elizabeth was faced with an embarrassing incident which changed one feature of her wardrobe for good.

Author Robert Hardman documents the moment in his book “Queen of the World”.

He writes: “During the 1963 tour of New Zealand, a gust of wind raised the Queen’s skirt in the capital and created ‘Windy Wellington’ headlines around the world.

“The photographer Reginald Davis captures the moment for the British press – ‘it only showed her slip’ – yet when he submitted it for the 1963 Photographer of the Year Awards, the judges refused to accept it, on grounds of taste.”

Alas, this was not the last time the Queen’s slip would be exposed to the world.

In 1991 the exact same thing happened again.

Hardman continues: “The same thing happened as the Queen arrives in Namibia, and her skirt was caught in a gust as she descended from her plane. The wind has been an occupational hazard on tour for most of her reign.”

In a bid to ensure her skirt stayed firmly in place, the monarch enlisted her fashion team to come up with a way to weight the hems of dresses and skirts.

British fashion designer Stewart Parvin was on hand to come up with a solution.

“Stewart Parvin has said that he learned an important top from his predecessors,” writes Hardman.

“She buys small lead weights from the curtain department at Peter Jones and sews them into the royal hemlines, not only to maintain the shape of the Queen’s clothes but to prevent what would now be called a ‘wardrobe malfunction’.”


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