Travelingcan 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 acceptableJustlike everybody else, the royals are under economic restraints and have tostick 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 skipchartered royal jets and last time they were in America, they flew commercial fromLos Angeles to London (first class of course). However, Queen Elizabeth no longer takes scheduledflights.
British Airways is their go-to air lineTheBritish royals like to support their own country and try to fly British Airwayswhen they do fly commercial. In 2011, they experienced the samefrustrations of air travel we all do when their British Airways plane’sin-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 ZaraPhilips wedding in 2011. Also Kate is very accustomed to flying commercial, herfather and mother both worked for British Airways.
Security is a givenTheroyals may not always fly private, but they never fly without their top-notch securityteam of trained experts. But all in all, they don’t travel with as large anentourage as you would expect. On their trip to LA in 2011, William andKate had just a seven-deep entourage, and on their trip to Australia theytravelled with 11.
Monogrammed royal luggageThe packing arrangements of the royals are a grandaffair. When the royals travel, they travel in style. On William’s trip toAustralia, 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 ofbags and suit carriers — which will carry her abundance of outfits (she had 25 duringher tour of California and Canada in 2011). But at least they won’t get mixedup with William’s — the royalcouple have an organized luggage tag system with a different color label foreach family member — little Prince George has baby blue.
Two heirs should not fly togetherRoyalprotocol is that two heirs should never fly on the same flight together so thatthe royal lineage is protected. However, Prince William broke this traditionwhen his son was born and took him on the same flight to Australia when PrinceGeorge was nine months old. On the trip to New York, Prince William and Katehave adhered to this rule again and Prince George will be staying at home withhis nanny.
All immigration rules applyEvenroyalty need passports. Little Prince George had to get a baby passport for histrip to Australia, which cost the royals $65. And the royal party has to adhereto customs and immigration rules but is usually fast-tracked through thisprocess.
Queen Elizabeth is the only royal who doesn’t need a passport as passports are issued in thename of Her Majesty — however, she is forced to go through an identity checkevery 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 coupleEventhe most glamorous of us like to be comfortable on a long haul flight. We letour style go a little and dress in track pants or at least a comfy pair ofjeans, right? Not William and Kate. These royals travel in style and always arrive smartand polished. Kate’s arrival outfit is either a signature two-piece suit orlong dress, whereas William rarely arrives not wearing a suit or blazer andslacks.
Kate’s home comfortsEveryoneknows flying can dehydrate your skin, so Kate will be sure to bring to Americaher favorite skincare routine. The royal swears by Heaven skincare products that are famously made with bee venom by skinspecialist Deborah Mitchell. Kate, 32, uses the bee venom mask in black and gold, which cleans and tightens skinand acts as a natural face-lift.