Queen Elizabeth has all eyes on her whenever she appears in public. Royal Family visits abroad always receiver particular scrutiny – and the Queen is no stranger to such trips. In fact, she is the world’s best-travelled monarch thanks to her extensive jet-setting.
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These days, however, Elizabeth leaves the travel to the younger royals.
Angela Kelly is the Queen’s official dresser and shared an intriguing insight into the Queen’s travels.
There’s one thing that the Queen will never do when she goes away.
Footwear is a key part of any traveller’s packing – and it’s often vital the shoes you take are comfortable.
This also applies to the Queen – although there’s a big difference between how the royal approaches this problem.
Most people will wear new shoes in around the house ahead of a holiday.
However, the Queen gets someone else to do this job before she goes away.
A member of staff will wear in her shoes for her.
Kelly explained this task falls to her due to their shared shoe size.
The Queen is a shoe size four and the shoes are made to fit her feet perfectly.
However, given the time the Queen spends on her feet when she travels, meeting important foreign leaders and the such like, it’s vital she doesn’t run the risk of blisters or sore feet.
“The Queen has very little time to herself and not time to wear in her own shoes, and as we share the same shoe size it makes the most sense this way,” Kelly wrote in her book The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe.
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It’s understood that whoever is breaking in the Queen’s shoes only wears a pair of beige cotton ankle socks as they move around.
They are also only allowed to walk on carpet.
The shoes will be worn outside just the once to ensure they have a decent grip before they are presented to the Queen for use.
Royal staff are not always happy with the jobs they do when accompanying the family on state visits.
For long-haul flights, they have to arrive in their Sunday best clothes and then change into more comfortable apparel in the tiny toilet of the plane, according to Brian Hoey’s book ‘Not In Front Of The Corgis’ – and the wait can prove frustrating.
The author revealed there was one episode in particular where annoyance came to the fore.
“On one flight to Australia, there was a long queue immediately after take-off when the Mistress of the Robes, the Duchess of Grafton, pushed her way to the front, claiming senior priority,” Hoey wrote in his book.
“One self-identified gay footman, well down the line, exclaimed in a tone everyone could hear ‘Well, that’s the first time I’ve ever known a Duchess take precedence over a queen’.”
However, the Mistress of the Robes pretended not to hear and carried on to the bathroom.
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