Royal travel: Royal staff were fearful of one foul task when flying with Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth II is a globe trotter, having spanned the world an average of 42 times during her reign. Unlike normal citizens, the monarch has her own private plane called the Royal Plane, and she rarely boards it alone.


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She has been known to take an entourage of staff off on her travels, including hairdressers and ever her own surgeon.

However, on occasion, Queen Elizabeth has also taken some rather unexpected guests, which can spark fear amongst her staff.

The monarch is renowned for her love of dogs, in particular corgis, so it should come as no surprise that her gang of fluffy friends have been regulars on the royal plane.

In an interview for the Channel 5 documentary ’Secrets of the Royal Flight’, Bob Shields, a former Navigator of the Queen’s Flight, explained: “Occasionally, as well as our very important royal passengers, we might have some very important royal dogs.”

Ever since she was a little girl Queen Elizabeth has held a passion for her pets, and it is rumoured she has owned more than 30 corgis in her time serving as monarch alone.

In 2007 she reportedly had five corgis named Monty, Emma, Linnet, Willow and Holly.

Additionally, she also had five cocker spaniels: Bisto, Oxo, Flash, Spick and Span, and an additional four dachshund-corgi crossbreeds: Cider, Berry, Vulcan and Candy.

While their presence was certainly a comfort for the Queen, her royal staff were always a little concerned of one smelly situation.

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“The household member of staff would be seen taking the dogs to the grass and pleading with the dogs to please do their business before they went on board the aeroplane,” Shields revealed.

Indeed, if an accident did happen to arise onboard, it would be the staff’s job to tend to the situation quickly.

The good news is, it seems Queen Elizabeth has her animals well trained.

“I am delighted to say we never had one accident,” said Shields.

Alongside her darling dogs, the Queen also takes a number of key staff members to tend to her every need.


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According to The Telegraph, these include “Master of the Household department, to oversee catering and logistics, her private secretary and his deputy, a secretary for each of those secretaries and two secretaries for the Duke.”

There are also “two dressers, a hairdresser, a valet, two ladies-in-waiting, an equerry for military liaison, press officers, eight police bodyguards and the Foreign Secretary and his or her staff.”

Apparently, she has been known to take around 35 additional people with her.

It is not uncommon for the Royal Family to take aids with them.

Kate Middleton has also been pictured jetting off in the past alongside a number of staff members including her hairdresser and stylist.

Staff members also come in handy for carrying the huge amounts of luggage the Royals take with them on state visits.

On her travels to Malta in 1950, one insider revealed the monarch took as many as 40 wardrobe trunks with her.

In her book The Royals, Kitty Kelley wrote: “Accompanied by her maid, her footman, and her detective, she arrived on the island with her sports car, forty wardrobe trunks and a new polo pony for her husband.”

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