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Royal travel: Sombre travel rules Queen Elizabeth & children must follow in case of death

Sudden death is not something your typical tourist tends to think of when they are preparing for an international adventure. However, for the Royal Family, every eventuality must be taken into consideration when they are travelling abroad.

The deathly protocols now span everything – from fashion to blood supplies.

One of the first rules is taken into account before the royal plane departs, and states all family members must pack a black outfit in their luggage.

“When packing for a trip it is protocol that they typically pack an all-black outfit,” explained Ms Chertoff.

“If there’s a sudden or unexpected death and they need to attend a funeral or appear in mourning it’s important to have the clothes they need to wear.”

Indeed, this was a lesson her Majesty learned the hard way and has since passed on to her children and grandchildren so that they may never be caught in a similar situation.

“When Queen Elizabeth II was traveling with Prince Philip in 1952 she learned that her father, King George VI had died and she didn’t have a black outfit in her luggage,” explained Ms Chertoff.

For the Royal Family, the mourning process is not one that is done in privacy, and the Queen faced a wall of photographers and media upon her arrival back into the UK from South Africa

“When she landed back in London she had to wait for an aide to bring her a black outfit to wear as she disembarked the plane because she was in mourning.

“To ensure that no one else is left without the proper attire in the event a family member passes away while they’re travelling, a black outfit is packed in everyone’s luggage.

“Therefore, they are seen in mourning attire, a sign of respect for the person who has passed away.”

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It isn’t just the death of other members of the family that must be taken into consideration, however.

The Royal Family members, and particularly heirs to the throne such as Prince Charles, Prince William and little Prince George, must consider what may happen in the case of their own death too.

This shudder-worthy thought is the reason behind a strict protocol which spans generations.

“Two heirs do not typically fly together, without permission from the Queen,” explained Ms Chertoff.

“In case of a tragic accident guidelines require two heirs not travel together.”

This rule is thought to have been brought about around the time that air travel became a more popular way to get around and was driven by concerns regarding aeroplane crashes.

“It’s customary for two heirs not to fly together in order to preserve the line of succession,” continued Ms Chertoff.

“The policy was put into place in the early days of air travel when aviation wasn’t the safest way to travel as it is today.”

In recent years, the rule has been relaxed, particularly in the case of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge when travelling with their three young children.

Ms Chertoff added: “The Queen can approve two heirs travelling together, which Queen Elizabeth has when Prince William and Prince George need to travel together.”

Indeed, at just nine months old, Prince George jetted off on royal tour to New Zealand and Australia with his parents in 2014.

Since then, he has also been on royal tours with his family to Canada, alongside his little sister Princess Charlotte.

Each time the family all flew together on the same aircraft.

Though Prince William and Kate’s youngest son Prince Louis is yet to embark on a royal tour, it is likely things will be the same for him too.

Luckily, should an unexpected medical incident occur during their journey or trip, the Royal Family are well prepared.

Not only do they fly with some of the best medical professionals available to them, but they also take with them their own supply of high tech medical equipment and even their own blood.

According to royal reporter Gordon Rayner, who has been on 20 royal tours, the family always have a royal naval doctor with them on their travels.

He will be tasked with researching everything about their destination in case of an emergency, including where the nearest hospitals are located at all points during the trip.

The doctor will usually carry “a bulky medical bag containing a mobile defibrillator and all manner of emergency medicine,” the reporter stated.

This esteemed medical professional is particularly important on trips including any heirs to the throne – particularly the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William.

Yet, even with a Royal Navy doctor in tow, the monarchy takes planning to the next level.

According to royal expert Duncan Larcombe, they also pack their own bag of blood, in order to avoid a shortage, “just in case something happens.”

Though these holiday additions may seem rather morbid to the regular traveller, for the royals they are imperative, particularly due to the nature of their journeys.

Ms Chertoff adds that these trips are even more important as they are not just leisure trips, but rather “official trips” where “they are working just as anyone else on a business trip.”

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Daily Express

The Daily Express is a daily national middle-market tabloid newspaper in the United Kingdom. Published in London, it is the flagship of Express Newspapers, owned by publisher Reach plc. It was first published as a broadsheet in 1900 by Sir Arthur Pearson. Its sister paper, the Sunday Express, was launched in 1918.

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