The royal family does a lot of traveling over the course of a year. Between attending charitable events to meeting with foreign dignitaries and heads of state, it’s not surprising that the royal family has a massive budget set aside just for travel. But they also have to follow some strict guidelines that dictate how they get from one place to another.
According to Express, members of the royal family can only charter private jets while working on official business. The budget for travel comes straight from taxpayers, so the royals are very conscious about how they spend that money. With a budget of over $4.5 million, it’s definitely in the royal family’s best interest to spend wisely.
The travel rule is one reason why people have spotted a few royals, like Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, on commercial flights. This happened when Harry and Markle were first dating. The couple could not charter a private jet at the time because Harry wasn’t on official business.
Traveling on a private jet isn’t cheap. When Prince William and Meghan Markle jetted off to India and Bhutan on official business, the crown dished out over $62,000 for the plane. That’s a drop in the bucket compared to Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles’ $150,000 trip to Italy, Austria, and Romania.
Fortunately, the travel budget was increased by half a million dollars for 2018, so the family has a little extra for traveling around the world.
Apart from the official business rule, members of the royal family are required to pack one specific item with them whenever they go abroad. So, when Queen Elizabeth, Kate Middleton, and Meghan Markle are out of the country, they must pack black clothes just in case somebody in the family dies.
Royal tradition says that members of the family should be dressed in black whenever they return to England for a funeral.
The rule was put in place after Her Majesty’s father passed away. At the time, Elizabeth and Prince Philip were visiting Kenya, and she had not packed anything black for mourning.
Elizabeth was forced to wait on the plane after they got home until a black dress could be delivered. She did not want to be seen in public without being appropriately dressed and instituted the rule for the rest of the family. Needless to say, a member of the royal family probably won’t find themselves in a similar situation anytime soon.
Today The Queen visited the King George VI Day Centre in Windsor on its 60th anniversary. The Windsor Old People's Welfare Association, which runs the centre, was first set up over 70 years ago to help widows and widowers and elderly relatives of those who died during the two world wars – and now operates as a lunch and social club for Windsor's elderly residents. The centre holds close ties to The Royal Family – The Queen Mother was one of the first to donate to the WOPWA when it was first set up in 1948. The centre was opened by The Queen ten years later and was named after The Queen's father King George VI.
That’s not the only rule the royals follow when they travel. They are also not allowed to eat shellfish when dining in other countries. This is because the palace wants to avoid any cases of food poisoning, which could complicate foreign visits.
Queen Elizabeth and Kate Middleton, of course, have mastered these rules of travel, but it might take a little time before Meghan Markle adjusts to them, especially during her upcoming honeymoon with Harry.