No passport needed for Queen globetrotters

No passport needed for Queen globetrotters

No passport needed for Queen globetrotters

The queen is carried on the shoulders in a canoe to the shore of Tuvalu at the end of her visit to the South Sea Islands in 1982 (PA) (PA Archive)

The queen is carried on the shoulders in a canoe to the shore of Tuvalu at the end of her visit to the South Sea Islands in 1982 (PA) (PA Archive)

The queen may have been one of the most traveled people in the world, but she didn’t have a passport.

British passports were issued in his name, so he was not required to have one.

During his long reign, he toured the world many times and visited almost all territories.

State visits usually followed a four-day pattern, but considerably longer tours were the order of the day for countries like Australia, New Zealand, and Canada where he was head of state.

He visited all the countries of the Commonwealth, with the exception of Cameroon and Rwanda, and many more, consolidating relations and promoting goodwill.

The ripples that were there often came courtesy of the Duke of Edinburgh, who wasn’t so fussy about observing social subtleties.

He once nearly provoked a diplomatic incident on a tour of China, referring in a private conversation with British students to the “keen eyes” of their guests.

Several years later he seemed to accuse the Hungarian people of being characterized by their “bellies” while chatting with a British tourist in Budapest.

Queen, on the other hand, has rarely missed the tours perfected over the decades to iron out as many potential pitfalls as possible.

But there was no reason for the unexpected, and that was what caused some of the funniest – or just plain irritating – distractions on his overseas visits.

On a high-profile trip to the United States in 1991, no one thought of altering the height of the lectern used by President George Bush as he swapped places with him to deliver a speech.

As a result, the American people were treated to the unusual sight of seeing a wide-brimmed hat utter the carefully crafted words of a visiting head of state.

The queen typically saw the fun side. Two days later, in the first speech by a British sovereign at a joint meeting of Congress, she collapsed her house by observing with an impassive expression: “I hope you can all see me today.”

There have been other times when his patience has been pushed to the limit.

The 1982 visit to Morocco went so disastrously that at one point the royal officials were declared on the verge of making the unprecedented decision to cancel it.

From time to time King Hassan made the queen wait – at one point in a desert heat of 35 ° C (95 ° F) – and the agreed schedule was constantly altered by the autocratic monarch.

On a trip to the Atlas Mountains, the king, a fanatic of ensuring his own safety, insisted that the queen and he change cars seven times.

Buckingham Palace has publicly insisted that everything was fine and the Queen was getting her uneven pace, but on several occasions it was clear that she was indeed very angry.

But despite all the hiccups, there have been dozens of hugely successful tours where Queen has established a place in the hearts of millions around the world.

As a young woman, Princess Elizabeth had relatively few trips abroad before she became queen.

It wasn’t until the age of 20 that Elizabeth first left the shores of Britain when she visited South Africa on a four-month tour with her parents, George VI and Queen Elizabeth, and sister, Princess Margaret. .

The visit was memorable as during the tour Princess Elizabeth celebrated her 21st birthday and gave a famous radio show to the Commonwealth.

His words symbolized the spirit of his kingdom: “I would like to make this dedication now. It’s very simple. I declare before all of you that my whole life, long or short, will be dedicated to your service and to the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong. “

Upon her return from South Africa, the princess’s engagement to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten was announced on 10 July 1947. They married four months later in Westminster Abbey on November 20.

In 1948, Elizabeth and Philip, now Duke of Edinburgh, visited France to open a British exhibition in Paris.

In the years up to 1952, trips to Malta, Gibraltar, Greece, Libya, Italy followed – including a meeting with the Pope – Canada, the United States – guests of President Truman – and Kenya.

The visit to Kenya was the first stop on a Commonwealth tour of Australia and New Zealand, but the king’s death on February 6, 1952, changed Elizabeth’s itinerary and young life forever.

Now queen, she returned to Britain without delay.

But after the coronation, on June 2, 1953, the queen embarked on her longest tour covering 43,618 miles, visiting Commonwealth countries in the West Indies, Australasia, Asia and Africa, from November 1953 to May 1954.

It included visits to Bermuda, Jamaica, Panama, Fiji, Tonga, New Zealand, Australia, Cocos Islands, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), Aden, Uganda, Libya, Malta and Gibraltar.

During half a century at the throne, the queen’s most frequent overseas destination has been Canada, which she has visited more than 20 times, as well as a visit in 1951 as a princess and short stops for refueling.

Australia has been a royal destination 16 times, New Zealand 10 times and Jamaica six times.

One of the most important state visits of her reign took place in October 1994, when the queen became the first British monarch to set foot on Russian soil.

Ties between the royal family and Russia had broken 76 years earlier, in 1918, when the Bolsheviks killed the queen and the duke’s ancestors, Tsar Nicholas II and the Romanovs, in the wake of the Russian revolution.

But the collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of communism ushered in a new era, sealed by the official visit of the most famous monarch in the world.

Accompanied by Philip, the queen stayed in the Kremlin as a guest of President Boris Yeltsin.

Perhaps the most touching and delicate moment was when the Queen and Philip visited the Russian cathedral where the remains of their ancestors, the last Tsar and his family, would be buried.

The duke had provided a DNA sample which was used by scientists to conclusively prove that the skeletons excavated from a pit in eastern Russia in 1991 were those of the murdered imperial family.

Another first for the queen was her state visit to Communist China in October 1986.

No British monarch had ever visited mainland China, let alone the Great Wall.

In a show of respect for the royal visitor, Chinese heavy smoking leaders even refrained from the habit in his presence.

Another Chinese practice – a noisy hawk and a long spit in a brass pot – was also temporarily abandoned in honor of the queen.

However, he dined – with chopsticks – based on sea snails at a banquet in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing (now Beijing).

In March 1995, the Queen returned to South Africa, once again welcoming the former apartheid state into the Commonwealth and giving the royal seal of approval to the Democratic “rainbow nation” of charismatic President Nelson Mandela.

Another memorable moment abroad was in October 2000 when the Queen visited elderly Pope John Paul II at the Vatican.

The two leaders met in private in the pope’s library and exchanged written texts explaining their thoughts on Christian unity.

The 80-year-old pontiff appeared physically frail, albeit mentally alert, and at times the queen seemed concerned about her health.

In private talks, lasting 24 minutes, they are thought to have discussed progress towards Christian unity, the troubles in Northern Ireland and Third World debt relief.

The queen observed Vatican protocol and wore black with a veil.

But she wore a skirt and three-quarter jacket rather than a long dress.

The pope, the spiritual leader of a billion Catholics in the world, including six million in Great Britain, was dressed in white.

The Royal Yacht Britannia, severely criticized as a waste of public money in later years, served the queen for more than four decades.

With Royal Navy personnel, the yacht played a central role in hosting “return” banquets and occasionally provided a welcome retreat from the rigors of ongoing formal meetings and visits.

It was launched by the Queen on April 16, 1953 and put into service on January 7, 1954. It was decommissioned in December 1997.

Air transport was invariably provided by the Royal Squadron, formerly Queen’s Flight, ultimately comprised of BAe 146 aircraft and helicopters, or long-haul chartered jets.

In May 2011, the Queen made her first visit to Ireland, becoming the first British monarch to travel to the Republic since the nation gained independence from Great Britain.

His grandfather George V went to the country in 1911, before independence.

An unprecedented security operation, costing an estimated £ 26.2 million, was put in place to protect the monarch and the Duke of Edinburgh.

The state visit was heralded as a new era in relations between Great Britain and the Republic.

Buckingham Palace examined the queen’s long-haul travel when she was just over 80, focusing on short and necessary state visits rather than long overseas tours.

During the Diamond Jubilee, other members of the royal family traveled around the world on his behalf and in November 2013 a trip to Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting was first left to the Prince of Wales.

The Queen visited Pope Francis in Vatican City in April 2014 – on what was her first trip abroad in two and a half years – and then in June 2014 made a state visit to France for the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

The following June he made a trip to Germany which included a visit to the former Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

And later the same year he went to Malta to open the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting.

But for the queen, who had spent more than 60 years jet-setting around the world, it was time to hand her journey over to the next generation.

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