The Queen’s travel essential inspired by her father—and it’s utterly heartbreaking

The Queen’s travel essential is not a must-have for everyone, but it’s something she reportedly always packs...

Queen Elizabeth leaves the Hebridean Princess at Stornoway
(Image credit: Photo by Tim Graham Photo Library via Getty Images)

The Queen reportedly has one travel essential she always packs when she goes abroad and this heartbreaking item is inspired by her father. 

Everyone has their own must-have items they can’t be without on trips, but the Queen’s travel essential likely won’t be on many people’s lists. From her days as a Princess high up in the royal line of succession, to her decades as the monarch, the Queen has often travelled abroad for important engagements and receptions. Now, as she prepares to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee 2022 with a packed schedule of events in June, it has been nearly seven years since the Queen went abroad. 

However, when she does travel anywhere, it’s said there is one item she always takes with her, after being caught out when tragedy struck at the heart of the extended Royal Family.

In February 1952 the Queen’s father King George VI passed away at Sandringham House and it was at the Norfolk estate that she marked this poignant anniversary this year. The then-Princess Elizabeth was told of her father’s death while on a trip to Kenya, leaving Prince Philip to comfort her. And it seems there was one item she’d forgotten to bring with her, never anticipating this sad news. 

According to, her dresser on the flight home from Kenya realized that they’d brought no black mourning clothes in which the new Queen could receive her ministers. Since then it’s now said to be established protocol that when members of the Royal Family, including the Queen, travel they must take a black outfit.

This means that if they do receive heartbreaking news, as the Queen did when her father passed away, the royals are able to mark their respects straight away and don’t appear unprepared. Royal dressing following a loss is a formal affair, as fans observed last year when the Queen’s husband of more than 70 years, Prince Philip, died. 

Queen Elizabeth II watches as pallbearers carry the coffin of Prince Philip, Duke Of Edinburgh into St George’s Chapel

(Image credit: Photo by Yui Mok-WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The Royal Family’s strict mourning rules were revealed to all, and throughout the official royal mourning period of two weeks for the Duke of Edinburgh, the royals were expected to wear black or dark clothes. For her first engagement since Prince Philip’s death, the Duchess of Cambridge wore an elegant coat dress in black, while Prince William wore a black suit. 

Inspired by the loss of her father, the Queen’s travel essential is a respectful item that ensures she and her relatives are prepared for even the most upsetting of announcements. 

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use , Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!