Queen Elizabeth has travelled. A lot. She has visited the most powerful nations on Earth, and the tiniest islands of Oceania. Lands previously ruled by the British monarchy, and those that were once our enemies. Her travels have taken her to 110 countries across six continents. And she’s still going strong.
Her Majesty is the most travelled monarch in the world. Despite her advancing age, the Queen still makes state visits to important British allies – with trips to Ireland, France and Germany taking place in recent years. Since the age of 50, she has travelled to 43 different countries for the first time.
Given the exhaustive nature of these trips – some can last months – the Queen’s continued dedication to representing the UK on a global scale is remarkable.
To celebrate this, we’ve mapped out all the official state and commonwealth visits our monarch has made, beginning with her trip to Kenya – where she arrived as a Princess, and left as a Queen.
Today, it is difficult to imagine the Queen travelling the world in anything other than a commercial plane. However, the beginning of her reign pre-dates the widespread use of air travel – and so she and Prince Phillip would often tour the far reaches of the globe on their royal yacht.
The HMY Britannia was commissioned in 1952, the day before Her Majesty ascended to the throne. For 43 years, it was used for various tours of different parts of the world – including Oceania and the Caribbean. It was decommissioned in 1997, and now sits as a tourist attraction in Edinburgh.
When plans are arranged for the Queen to visit other countries – there are still plenty of options, including the Royal Air Force. Very often, however, she will fly with British Airways.Back To Map
The Queen has visited Canada more than any other country – a grand total of 27 times.
As Canada is a member of the Commonwealth, Queen Elizabeth remains its Head of State, although her role is purely ceremonial. Canada is the only nation, apart from the UK, for whom the Queen has made a state visit on behalf of. Twice she has been hosted in the US as the Queen of Canada, rather than the Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
Despite the commendable number of times she has visited Canada, it should be noted that a couple of those were merely a matter of convenience. During long-haul trips to Oceania and the Caribbean islands, Queen Elizabeth’s plane regularly stops in Canada for refuelling.Back To Map
Her Majesty’s fashion choices are often a hot topic of conversation.
As arguably the most famous monarch in the world – people expect a certain level of glamour, and the Queen is renowned for dazzling her hosts wherever she goes. It doesn’t matter if she’s visiting with world leaders, or ordinary people.
With access to a variety of beautiful gowns, and the most valuable jewellery on Earth, onlookers are often left suitably impressed. Of course, it helps to have a team of fashion-related experts on hand at all times – making all the key decisions.
But Queen Elizabeth pulls off each look with such elegance, we’re inclined to give her a lot of the credit.Back To Map
It is common courtesy for Queen Elizabeth’s hosts to present her with a gift during an official visit, and vice-versa.
With hundreds of trips taking place throughout her reign, the Queen has acquired a wide variety of different items from all over the world. Some more unusual than others, but all gratefully received by Her Majesty.
It is not uncommon for the Queen to be given animals as a gift. For example, during her state visit to Brazil in 1968, she was given two sloths. Protocol is for the animals to be placed into a local zoo, where they can be looked after properly. However, when Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands gifted a horse, it was housed in the Royal Mews.Back To Map
In early 1979, Queen Elizabeth embarked upon a tour of the Middle East – visiting Kuwait, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman. However, none of these are considered to be ‘state visits’ by the Palace.
The trip attracted worldwide attention, not least because the region was going through a difficult time – with the Iranian Revolution only a month old. Many were also interested to see how a female head of state would be welcomed in this part of the world.
But there was no reason to worry. Particularly in Dubai, where the Queen was already familiar with some of the male leaders through their mutual interest in horse racing. Her Majesty and Prince Phillip were even able to experience camel racing for the first time.Back To Map
Since ascending to the throne in 1952, Queen Elizabeth has seen 13 different men hold the office of President of the United States of America. At some point during each of their presidencies, she has met with all of them, with one recent exception...
The Queen has visited the US on numerous official state visits – as both Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and as Queen of Canada – where she retains her head of state status. On each trip, she was hosted by a Republican President – Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush.Back To Map
The Queen is not the only member of the Royal Family to rack up the air miles. Prince Phillip, Prince Charles and Princes William and Harry regularly make official visits to Britain’s allies.
Although he has now retired from public life, Prince Phillip often accompanied the Queen during state visits, and often toured by himself. Prince Charles has visited over a hundred countries, perhaps travelling more than the Queen herself, whilst Prince William has been on more than 40 trips.
One things for certain – whilst the Queen’s calendar isn’t as packed as it used to be, she and the other members of the Royal Family continue to represent the UK around the world.Back To Map