Queen Elizabeth II has travelled to more than 120 countries across the globe, always with a significant entourage in tow. Though one such royal excursion overseas marked a departure from the rest when the Queen, 92, almost went it alone during one outing. This was an unorthodox approach for the UK monarch, during her mission to Zambia, in Africa to promote the crown in diplomacy. But Prince Philip’s wife appeared to have no objection to undertaking it to please the mass crowds that had gathered to see her.
Royal biographer Robert Hardman detailed the swerve from tradition in his new book, Queen of the World.
He quotes a letter on the Queen and Prince Philip’s trip, written by writer Len Allison.
Len had said: “There was gratitude the Queen had come to Zambia in its time of trouble.
“There was undoubtedly also an aura of mystery and respect about the person of the Queen.”
Robert detailed how the rest of the monarch’s tip played out – with surprising results for her security.
He wrote how the Central Committee Commissar of Lusaka Province, Fines Bulawayo, was visited by a delegation of elders with a request.
He wrote: “the public, they insisted, wanted the monarch’s police escort removed because it was obstructing the view.
“‘The people wanted to see the Queen,’ Bulawayo explained.
“‘She had no need for police protection. The people were her safeguard.”
Yet as the royal party took to their aircraft to continue their route, after the road vehicle tour, a “leisurely regal approach” was somewhat switched.
The pilot ensured the craft was put into a perpendicular dive should someone decide to set off a missile in an attempt to strike the royal couple.
Express.co.uk previously reported how the government also feared the Queen was in danger during a “controversial and dangerous” trip to Ghana, in 1961.
Meanwhile, the Queen’s hidden “terror” during royal tours has been put under the spotlight – and it is nothing to do with her personal security.
Royal writer Kitty Kelley has shone light on the Queen’s seeming less than confident side in her recent book.
The Royals details the difference in character between the monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh, 96, during their official state trips abroad.
She said during such occasions, Queen Elizabeth II appeared to feel “self conscious” about “the gaps in her education.”
Kitty wrote: “Philip chatted with anyone about anything, while Elizabeth worried constantly about what to say.”
She added how Elizabeth was said to have confided her worries about public conversation with a close friend, and quoted the chat during which the monarch is said to have stated: “Believe it or not, I lie in my bath before dinner, and think, Oh, who am I going to sit by and what do they talk about?
“I’m absolutely terrified of sitting next to people in case they talk about things I have never heard of.”