Queen Elizabeth II has visited more than 120 countries during her reign. The UK’s longest serving monarch has travelled to all corners of the globe to promote the crown, strengthening diplomatic ties and even, sometimes, helping smooth over political divides. While she is sometimes joined by her family, on other visits she goes it alone. Yet her husband, Prince Philip, prior to his retirement from official engagements in 2017, also represented the Royal Family solo.
In 1950, the Duke of Edinburgh was stationed in Malta, prior to his wife’s coronation as Queen.
Queen Elizabeth II was appointed in 1953 and during the time before taking the title, enjoyed a thee-month stay in the holiday hotspot with Philip.
Yet it has been revealed by royal author Kitty Kelley, that she did not pack light.
In her new book The Royals, Kitty wrote of the sheer amount of luggage the Queen took for her stay.
She wrote: “Elizabeth rejoined him there in November for three months, again leaving her children with their nannies and grandparents.
“Accompanied by her maid, her footman, and her detective, she arrived on the island with her sports car, forty wardrobe trunks and a new polo pony for her husband.”
Despite the lavish present of an animal, which must have been tricky to take overseas, it appears the Queen may not have spent much time riding or playing the sport.
Instead, Kitty wrote: “She spent her days relaxing in the sun, shopping, lunching with officer’s wives, and getting her hair done in a beauty salon.
“Occasionally she toured military installations, cut ceremonial ribbons, and visited nursery schools.
“She filled her evening with dinner parties, dances and movies.”
Kitty told how the Queen appeared to embrace her freedom away from the constraints of royal life in the UK, and told how she was living a “normal existence.”
Meanwhile, despite the Queen’s fear of flying recently came to light.
The monarch does not enjoy the process of travelling to far-flung destinations, according to royal biographer Robert Hardman.
In his new book Queen of the World, he told how Prince Harry’s grandmother is “famously stoical” about the dangers of royal life while on excursions.
He added: “However, she (the Queen) has never been a great fan of air travel.
“If St Christopher, the patron saint of travellers, can afford any extra protection then so much the better.”