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15 hacks the royals use to pack for tours you wish you knew earlier

Royal tour packing secrets revealed!

royal tour secrets
Ainhoa Barcelona
Ainhoa BarcelonaContent Managing Editor
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royal tour entourage luggage© Photo: Getty Images

After months of travel restrictions, royal tours have finally made a return! While Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall embarked on their first royal tour to Jordan in late 2021, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are reportedly heading to the Caribbean this spring as part of a royal tour to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

READ MORE: Royal spotting in Norfolk: Where you might see the Queen, Kate Middleton & Prince William off-duty

We've been reminiscing about the planning and preparation that goes into organising a royal tour, including the amount of thought that goes into the luggage the royals carry. Stylists have to be mindful that the royals' clothes are appropriate for the weather, for the formality of the engagement and if possible, give a nod to the host country. Members of the royals' entourage are responsible for what luggage is taken on board, what's stored in the hold, and which suitcases go to which hotels or residences.

If anyone's mastered the art of a streamlined travel system, it's the royal family! Let's take look at some of the most ultra-organised (and colour-coded) travel photos of the royals over the years...

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prince charles aircraft luggage© Photo: Getty Images

In regards to royal luggage, each item is clearly labelled with the royal's name, in this case, Prince Charles, and where it should be delivered to. Blue means it's wanted on the aircraft, green means it's for the hotel, and yellow means it's going to a residence, for example, the British Ambassador's house of the country the royals are visiting.

MORE: Royal travel secrets revealed: From Meghan Markle to the Queen

maria borrallo case

Seasoned travellers Kate and William have an impressive collection of seriously chic yet practical luggage from the luxury travel brand Globe-Trotter. Not only do they each own a 21" trolley case and the 33" extra deep suitcase from the collection, but Prince George and Princess Charlotte also have two 13" Mini Utility Case. Their nanny, Maria Borrallo, was spotted holding one of the cases upon their arrival in Poland in 2017.

prince george luggage details© Photo: Getty Images

Prince George's luggage – likely packed by his nanny Maria or mum Kate – is labelled to go to a residence.

meghan markle airport luggage© Photo: Splash

Meghan, pictured here before she was royal, previously revealed on her blog that there is one item she always carries with her on board – hand sanitiser.

"I'm no germophobe, but when I get on a plane I always use some quick hand wipes or a travel sanitiser spray to wipe it all down: that includes the little TV, the service tray, and all the buttons around your seat," Meghan wrote on The Tig. "Sure, the person next to you may give you a side eye, but at the end of the flight, you'll be the one whistling dixie with nary a sniffle."

MORE: The genius way Duchess Meghan packs her bags for royal tour

kate middleton tour dress© Photo: Getty Images

One of Kate's full-length gowns is carefully packaged in a dress bag.

the queen

The Queen is said to have an unusual remedy for jetlag: barley sugar. “What the queen is doing by having barley sugar is essentially using her body’s sugar metabolic pathways to help adjust her body clock,” Nick Knight, a specialist in lifestyle medicine, told the Telegraph. We imagine a pack of the small sweets would have made the cut for her holdall luggage on most of her trips!

princess diana prince charles luggage© Photo: Getty Images

Princess Diana's trunks were carefully labelled with tags, and her dresses were hung upright in larger boxes.

MORE: Royal fans given a peek inside Kate Middleton's swish private jet

amanda cook tucker kate hairstylist© Photo: Getty Images

Duchess Catherine brings personal hairstylist, Amanda Cook Tucker, with her during royal tours to ensure her glossy mane looks its very best 24/7. In a sneak peek at what she packs to tame Kate's tresses, Amanda previously revealed her travel case contains a whopping 13 brushes and bargain essentials including Elnett's Supreme Hold Hairspray.

prince harry travelling backpack© Photo: Getty Images

Harry, with his trusty backpack, and his wife Meghan touched down in Australia back in 2018, just hours after announcing the Duchess's pregnancy. They were surrounded by their entourage and Meghan clutched a folder, no doubt packed with the tour itinerary. 

princess diana luggage© Photo: Getty Images

Each item has two tags – one with the royal's name and another with the location.

the queen luggage details© Photo: Getty Images

The royals have their system down to a tee! A closer look at some of the briefcases the Queen wanted on board with her when she travelled to Virginia in the US in 2007.

prince charles hotel luggage© Photo: Getty Images

Prince Charles' silver trunk was clearly labelled to go to the hotel.

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meghan markle travelling bag

In a 'travel essentials' post on her now-defunct website The Tig, Meghan wrote that it’s important to take the time to look for a travel case or a piece of luggage that "makes you feel like a frequent flier" so you can stay organised and focus on the "vacate part of the vacation." Some of her favourite travel items include pieces from the brand Ebby Rane as well as the First Class Tech Case in the colour Amber Orange from the brand Stow. 

prada bag

In February, she was pictured carrying a blue Prada travel bag as she disembarked from a plane in Canada. Made from regenerated nylon, the sustainable carry-on features a detachable shoulder strap, two external pockets and the OMA/AMO-designed logo, which comes in five different colours representing the five continents. Costing £1,260, it sounds like it has everything you'd need for your holiday.

queen arrival king george death

The royals must always pack a black outfit with them whenever they travel abroad in case a member of the family dies whilst they are away.

The Queen learnt this the hard way in 1952 when her father, King George, passed away whilst she was on tour with Prince Phillip. The monarch had to be greeted on the plane with a black outfit once it landed in the UK, so she could step out in black as a sign of her respect and mourning. 

RELATED: Look inside the Queen's royal train that she travelled to Cornwall in

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