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 William and Kate Middleton embark on their first official engagement in New York City and travel across the ocean, HELLO! investigates the truth about how the royals travel.
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. William and Kate have been known to skip chartered royal jets and last time they were in America, they flew commercial from Los Angeles to London (first class of course). 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, they 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, they 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 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, William and Kate had just a seven-deep entourage, and on their trip to Australia they travelled with 11.
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.
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 Prince George was nine months old. On the trip to New York, Prince William and Kate have adhered to this rule again and Prince George will be staying at home with his nanny.
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.
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’s home comforts
Everyone knows flying can dehydrate your skin, so Kate will be sure to bring to America her favorite skincare routine. The royal swears by Heaven skincare products that are famously made with bee venom by skin specialist Deborah Mitchell. Kate, 32, uses the bee venom mask in black and gold, which cleans and tightens skin and acts as a natural face-lift.