10 secrets of how the royals travel

Traveling can be tedious: standing in line at security, luggage allowances, plane delays, jet lag, and strange hotels. But is this the same for the royals? As Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall prepare for their trip to Australia and New Zealand this week, HELLO! investigates the truth about how the royals travel.


A lot of work goes into William and Kate's travel plans Photo: Getty Images

Commercial airlines are acceptable
Just like everybody else, the royals are under economic restraints and have to stick to a budget. A big budget, but still a budget. In 2012, they spent $7 million on travel. Prince Williamand Kate Middleton have been known to skip chartered royal jets, and for their 2011 trip, they flew commercial from Los Angeles to London. Prince William and Prince Harry flew economy on an American Airlines flight from Memphis to Dallas in May of 2014. However, Queen Elizabeth no longer takes scheduled flights.

British Airways is their go-to air line
The British royals like to support their own country and try to fly British Airways when they do fly commercial. In 2011, William and Kate experienced the same frustrations of air travel we all do when their British Airways plane’s in-flight entertainment broke. And if there are no BA flights, the royals will even travel more economically: Prince Harry and Prince William both flew budget airlines back from their cousin Zara Philips wedding in 2011. Also Kate is very accustomed to flying commercial, her father and mother both worked for British Airways.

Security is always on hand to take care of the royals when they're on the move Photo: Getty Images

Security is a given
The royals may not always fly private, but they never fly without their top-notch security team of trained experts. But all in all, they don’t travel with as large an entourage as you would expect. On their trip to LA in 2011, Prince William and Duchess Kate had just a seven-person deep entourage, and on their trip to Australia they traveled with 11.

Of course the royals have special luggage Photo: Getty Images

Monogrammed royal luggage
The packing arrangements of the royals are a grand affair. When the royals travel, they travel in style. On William’s trip to Australia, royal watchers were given a glimpse of his luggage which was emblazoned with the letter W and a crown. Kate isn’t quite so formal and apparently has a more eclectic mix of bags and suit carriers — which will carry her abundance of outfits (she had 25 during her tour of California and Canada in 2011). But at least they won’t get mixed up with William’s — the royal couple have an organized luggage tag system with a different color label for each family member — little Prince George has baby blue.

Prince George joined his parents on their tour of Australia Photo: Getty Images

Two heirs should not fly together
Royal protocol is that two heirs should never fly on the same flight together so that the royal lineage is protected. However, Prince William broke this tradition when his son was born and took him on the same flight to Australia when George was 9 months old. On their trip to New York in December, 2014, Prince William and Kate adhered to this rule again and Prince George stayed at home with his nanny and grandmother Carole Middleton.

All immigration rules apply
Even royalty need passports. Little Prince George had to get a baby passport for his trip to Australia, which cost the royals $65. And the royal party has to adhere to customs and immigration rules but is usually fast-tracked through this process.

Queen Elizabeth is the only royal who doesn’t need a passport as passports are issued in the name of Her Majesty — however, she is forced to go through an identity check every time she flies in and out of Britain, giving her full name, age, address, nationality, gender and place of birth to immigration officials.

Will and Kate always look stylish when they travel Photo: Getty Images

No track pants for the royal couple
Even the most glamorous of us like to be comfortable on a long haul flight. We let our style go a little and dress in track pants or at least a comfy pair of jeans, right? Not William and Kate. These royals travel in style and always arrive smart and polished. Kate’s arrival outfit is either a signature two-piece suit or long dress, whereas William rarely arrives not wearing a suit or blazer and slacks.

Kate brings the comforts of home with her, including her personal hair stylist Photo: Getty Images

Kate’s home comforts
Everyone knows flying can dehydrate your skin, so Kate travels with her favorite skincare line. The royal swears by Heaven products that are famously made with bee venom by skin specialist Deborah Mitchell. Kate, 33, uses the bee venom mask in black and gold, which cleans and tightens skin and acts as a natural face-lift. And then, of course, there is the matter of Kate's world-famous locks. For her trip to New York in December, her personal hair stylist Amanda Cook Tucker was part of the official entourage.

Prince Charles has the most expensive travel
While a lot of the couple's official travel was paid for by the countries they visited including Australia and New Zealand, they did pay for William's week-long tour of Japan and China, which totaled $109,000. William and Kate's famous trip to New York in December, where they stayed at the luxury Carlyle Hotel, ended up costing $26,600. Harry's trip to Brazil and Chile last year cost $135,000 including his flights and travel staff, but it was his dad Prince Charles that had the most expensive trips. He spent $2.44 million on 17 trips throughout the year and had $908,575 on his one-week visit to Central America with his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall.

Photographer Arthur Edwards often travels with the royals Photo: Getty Images

A photographer often travels with them
In order to control their image as best as possible, the royals often travel with a pre-approved photographer. Arthur Edwards has traveled to New Zealand with Prince Harry and Southeast Asia with Prince William and Kate Middleton to name a few. The 75-year-old photog veteran was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for "outstanding service to newspapers."

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