TTG – Features – Inspire your customers with the late Queen’s travel adventures

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It is well documented that Queen Elizabeth II was the most traveled British monarch in history, traveling over a million miles as she crisscrossed the globe throughout her reign. She made 290 state visits to 117 different countries between 1952 – when she became queen while in Kenya – and 2015, when she made her last overseas visit to Malta. And all without a passport… as a British passport was issued in her name, she didn’t need to have one.

Here are some talking points that could inspire your clients’ next trips…

Malta

The Mediterranean island held a special place in the Queen’s heart. Between 1949 and 1951, while still a princess, she made several visits to Malta as a young navy bride, supporting Prince Philip who was stationed there with the Royal Navy, each for several months. She first arrived in Malta in November 1949 and spent Christmas on the island, living at Villa Guardamangia, which then fell into disrepair but has now been entrusted to Heritage Malta for restoration.

She often spoke of her happy memories of living in Malta during those years, when she and Philip lived in newlywed bliss and relative normality, taking part in the social life of the island, before the demands of the crown are not imposed on him.

She returned to the island as Queen on May 3, 1954, when a royal 21-gun salute proclaimed her arrival in the grand harbor of Valletta.

His second state visit was in 1967, three years after Malta gained independence. She returned regularly, until her last visit for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2015, where she paid tribute to the island, saying her small size was no measure of the moral strength of her people.

Kenya

Kenya is another such place with intrinsic ties to Queen Elizabeth II. She was in Kenya in February 1952 with her husband, Prince Philip, when her father, King George VI, died. They were about to start a Commonwealth tour, representing her father who was too ill to travel – and she was taking a break from royal duties at the Treetops Hotel when the news broke overnight.

The couple had spent the day watching the elephants at a nearby waterhole, before retiring to their bedroom high in the trees. And it was here, in the early hours of February 6, that Elizabeth became queen. “For the first time in the history of the world, a young girl climbed a tree one day a princess… and the next day she came down a tree a queen,” the couple’s armed escort and guide, Jim Corbett , who was also staying at Treetops at the time, writes in the visitor log.

The diplomat and politician, Harold Nicolson, wrote in his diary: “She became queen while perched in a tree in Africa, watching the rhino come down to the pool to drink.”

However, it is a little known fact that she actually learned the news later the same day from her husband Philip at Sagana Lodge, a farm about 20 miles from Treetops, which had been a wedding present from the Kenyan government. . Prince Philip’s aide, Commander Michael Parker, later wrote: “He looked like he’d dropped half the world on him…He took [The Queen] down to the garden and they walked around the lawn while he talked and talked and talked with her.”

From Sagana they flew straight to Entebbe airport and flew back to the UK. Shortly after the Queen returned ownership of Sagana Lodge to the newly independent government of Kenya, it is now used by the President of Kenya during his service.

The couple returned to Treetops in 1959 and 1983, but it was a far cry from the rustic two-bed house they knew, burnt down by Mau Mau rebels during an uprising. A refurbished 36-room overwater lodge had a Queen Elizabeth suite and a plaque that marked the spot where she rose from princess to queen, but sadly closed during the pandemic.

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