As the most widely-travelled head of state in history, it’s no surprise that The Queen has a tried and tested cure for jet lag. In an interview conducted by The Independent some years ago, it was revealed that Her Majesty relies on homoeopathic medicine and barley sugar, in the form of boiled sweets.
Wanting to know more about how barley sugar helps jet lag The Telegraph consulted GP Nick Knight who shared: “What the Queen is doing by having barley sugar is essentially using her body’s sugar metabolic pathways to help adjust her body clock. It is a little niche but essentially the same should happen if you were to have your breakfast, lunch and dinner at times that match your destination before you get there, regardless of whether you’re hungry or not.”
In addition to this unusual habit, The Queen always travels with a wardrobe large enough to include up to three outfits per day as well as an essential most travellers won’t have to consider – a black ensemble in case Her Majesty unexpectedly finds herself in need of mourning clothes. This tradition was born out of unfortunate necessity. While returning to London from Kenya following the news of her father’s death on 6 February 1952, the royal entourage realised The Queen did not have any appropriate black clothing and so she was forced to wait on board the aircraft upon landing until a suitable dress could be delivered for her to change into before disembarking.
The Queen also packs some other unusual items – most notably, a supply of her own blood! In countries where a reliable blood supply may be in question, Her Majesty (as well as her heir, The Prince of Wales) travel with personal packs of blood and a Royal Navy doctor who is never more than a few paces away and fully armed with all manner of emergency medical equipment.
Alongside the doctor, The Queen is accompanied on foreign visits by up to 34 people, including (but not limited to) the Master of the Household department, Her Majesty’s private secretary and his deputy, two ladies-in-waiting, two dressers, a hairdresser, press officers, police bodyguards, and the Foreign Secretary and his or her staff. Before his retirement earlier this year, the Duke of Edinburgh would usually accompany The Queen on these trips and would require a sizeable staff to travel with him as well.
Royal tours are often planned down to the minute and it’s up to the staff and attendants accompanying the royals to ensure everything runs smoothly – from advising foreign chefs on just how much garlic or spice to use, to keeping the corgis comfortable, to doing months of advance research to make sure every element of the trip goes off without a hitch.