The morbid item Kate Middleton always travels with to avoid the Queen's sad problem that played out in The Crown

The Princess of Wales must always travel with one particular item to avoid a problem the Queen faced when her father died

The morbid item Kate Middleton always travels with
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The morbid item Kate Middleton always travels with has been revealed as Royal staff have learned an important lesson following Queen Elizabeth II's mishap back in 1952.

The Princess of Wales is often called abroad to take part in official tours of countries, most frequently with the Prince of Wales by her side. For each trip, outfits will have been planned to the very last accessory and will have the perfect look as stylists aim to nail another one of Kate Middleton's best style moments. However, there is always a spare look that is packed into the Princess's suitcase in case of emergencies.

Kate Middleton always travels with a sombre black outfit in her suitcase, no matter whether she is travelling to Asia or just overnight to a different part of the UK. This is in case there is a royal death within the family and the Princess will need to come back home and will likely be photographed on arrival.

Catherine, Princess of Wales during the National Service of Remembrance

(Image credit: Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage via Getty)

Whilst this may sound macabre and unlikely, it was actually something that happened to the late Queen when she was young. In 1952, Queen Elizabeth II was in Africa with the Duke of Edinburgh when they were told that the King had died, making Elizabeth the new Queen. This was a focal storyline in the first season of Netflix's The Crown.

Princess Elizabeth in The Crown series 1

(Image credit: Netflix)

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Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith | £5.55 at Amazon

Written during the reign of the late Queen Elizabeth, this enlightening biography takes readers on a journey throughout her life. This includes insights into Queen Elizabeth's daily routines, her royal tours and her personal relationships, including her marriage to Prince Philip.

When the news of her father's death reached Princess Elizabeth in Kenya, she had to immediately fly back to the UK and begin the official public mourning for her father as funeral preparations began. 

The only hitch in this plan is that the Princess would be arriving in the UK as a Queen, and did not have any appropriate mourning clothing. This was remedied by royal staff who bought black attire onto the Queen's private jet at London Airport as soon as she landed on the tarmac, meaning she could enter the UK in a subdued black ensemble.

This was witnessed briefly in season one of The Crown as the Queen was told by staff that a black dress would be bought to her so that she could exit the plane in mourning clothes.

"It appears Miss McDonald neglected to pack a black dress, we've called ahead to London and something will be brought to you before you disembark," the Queen was warned in the series as she was told there would be many journalists waiting at the airport to capture her arrival.

Since this incident, royals always pack a black look with them when they travel abroad, in case a similar incident takes place. OK! reported, "Ever since then, it has become a custom for royals to travel with a black dress or appropriate mourning attire in the case that someone should die while they are abroad."

So although it may seem dark to plan ahead in this way, the Royal Family are now always prepared for the worst, wherever they are in the world.

Laura Harman

Laura is the Entertainment Editor for woman&home who primarily covers television, film, and celebrity news. Laura loves drinking and eating and can often be found trying to get reservations at London's trendiest restaurants. When she's not wining and dining, Laura can also be found travelling, baking, and hiking with her dog.