Queen Elizabeth visited the African country of Zambia in 1979 on a royal tour with her husband Prince Philip and son Prince Andrew. It was considered a risky undertaking due to the questionable level of safety for a visiting monarch in Zambia at the time – a VIP flight had recently been attacked in Zambian air space. Many were strongly of the belief that the Queen should not go ahead with the tour. However, Elizabeth was resolved to make the trip.
“Neither the Queen nor her officials were giving any thought to cancellation,” Robert Hardman wrote in his 2018 book Queen of the World. “Rather they were already planning their packing.”
The monarch was set to include a rather surprising item in her packing – alcohol.
Hardman narrated: “The British High Commission was bombarded with questions… The Master of the Royal Household wanted to know the precise dimensions of the plates that he hoped to use at his state banquet.
“He would also require twelve dozen bottles of tonic water and six dozen of soda.”
Hardman added: “The Queen would bring her own spirits to go with it.”
Elizabeth is not the only member of the Royal Family to bring her own supply of alcohol.
Charles and Camilla sometimes take a secret stash of booze with them when they travel to avoid their drinks being tampered with, according to Telegraph reporter Gordon Rayner, who has attended 20 royal tours.
“Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall sometimes take their own alcohol so there’s no danger of their drinks being spiked,” Rayner told Conde Nast Traveler.
The heir to the throne and his wife don’t actually carry the booze themselves, however.
This job is done by bodyguards whose job it is to protect the royals at all times.
“Their police bodyguard will discreetly carry a bag of their drinks,” said Rayner.
The reporter also revealed the favourite drinks of both the Duke and Duchess of Cornwall.
He claimed that Charles’s favourite drink is a gin and tonic while Camilla favours red wine.
However, it’s not just alcohol that the Queen likes to take with her when she travels.
The Royal head would demand Malvern water was brought on board the Royal Yacht Britannia for use in her tea, claimed author Peter Pigott in his book Royal Transport.
This was just part of the huge selection of luggage the royals brought on board. “For each state visit, the royal family brought with them five tonnes of luggage, including Malvern water for the Queen’s tea,” wrote Pigott.
Elizabeth also likes to take her favourite cake when she goes away. She refuses to travel without a slice of chocolate biscuit cake, according to Darren McGrady, Queen Elizabeth’s former personal chef and author of ‘Eating Royally.’
“Now the Chocolate Biscuit Cake is the only cake that goes back again and again and again every day until it’s all gone,” McGrady told baking website RecipePlus.
“She’ll take a small slice every day until eventually there is only one tiny piece, but you have to send that up, she wants to finish the whole of that cake.”