We write about a lot of random royal stuff here, and today’s post is no exception. Now that William and Kate’s tour of Australia and New Zealand is about to start, we’ve been inspired to take a closer look at royal luggage over the years. After all, who doesn’t love a peak behind the curtain? Luggage with tags marked with ‘The Queen’ fulfills that for me.
The Queen is the only British Citizen who doesn’t need to travel with a passport since all British passports are issued in her name. Her family members travel on diplomatic passport and they also use a handy colour coded luggage tag system to keep things organized. Different family members have different coloured tags assigned to them, and they also specify where the luggage is to be delivered (i.e. ‘Residence).
The Queen’s tags are always yellow as you can see here. This stack of luggage was for the Queen’s 2007 tour of the US and are pretty normal looking when you consider what’s inside them., right?
Naturally, royal jewels travel as carry on!
This photo of Charles and Diana was taken in 1981 and shows the couple arriving in London. In this case, Diana had a couple pieces of carry on luggage.
Things were remarkably different for their tour of Australia in 1985. This photo, taken at the Melbourne airport, shows the pile of luggage that the Prince and Princess of Wales required for the trip. This particular shot comes from the delightful book Dressing Diana by Tim Graham (it can be purchased here and is sooo worth having in your royal library).
Check out the standing wardrobe case!
For this tour, the Princess of Wales was assigned pink tags and the yellow tags designated where the luggage was to be delivered. Looks like this was the ninth of many more bags! I just LOVE the organization.
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
“On this tour of Australia and America, Diana took twenty daytime outfits, twelve hats, more than a dozen evening dresses, fifteen pairs of shoes and matching bags, nineteen pairs of earrings, two tiaras, eight necklaces and assorted pairs of tights to match her outfits. Accompanying Diana was her dresser, Evelyn Dagley, who was on hand to help the Princess with her many changes each day. After Australia, the couple flew straight to America. The Princess had meticulously preplanned both trips and unveiled a whole new set of evening gowns, coats, and daywear for the visit, including the show-stoping Victor Edelstein dark blue velvet number she wore to the While House dinner and dance hosted by President Reagan.”
That would be this one, of course and I’m guessing it would have been hung in that standing wardrobe case so the velvet wouldn’t be crushed:
Since we’re stepping back in time, here’s an article that appeared in the LA Times the following day (November 12, 1985).
WASHINGTON — If you’re wondering why Princess Diana danced with John Travolta, Clint Eastwood and Neil Diamond but not Mikhail Baryshnikov, the man who sat next to her at that fabulous White House dinner, it was because the ballet dancer had sore ankles and could not do so. . . . The dance with Travolta was quite the talk of Washington the next day. The music they were dancing to, according to Travolta, was a medley of the music from two of his movies, “Grease” and “Saturday Night Fever,” as played quite beautifully by the U.S. Marine Dance Band. (Source)
Prince Charles & The Duchess of Cornwall
Moving a long to a more recent tour, here is some of Charles and Camilla’s luggage being offloaded upon their arrival in Sweden in March of 2012. What a great behind the scenes look!
This was the red carpet arrival they really wanted us to see, but I”m sure you’ll agree it’s not nearly as interesting as all those bags coming down the stairs.
In this photo, Harry’s wheeling out his now ex-girlfriend Chelsey Davey’s bag from Heathrow in September 2007. He was an hour late to pick her up, was totally in the dog house and was trying to make amends.
He thinks nothing of schlepping his own bags and is shown here arriving at Hollyroof House for Zara’s wedding back in the summer of 2011.
And while were’ on the subject of that wedding, what I loved most about the coverage was all the photos of royals arriving and leaving with their bags.
Here’s Sophie leaving the morning after with her hat box.
The bride was also photographed getting ready to leave (the striped bag she’s carrying is an Anya Hindmarch traveler bag that is comes tucked away in her bags when you buy them).
Her need husband Mike Tindall was photographed still wearing his suit from the day before (but he did change shortly after).
And here’s Zara’s brother Peter and his wife Autumn packing up to head home.
William & Kate
William luggage to include his official monogram. This photo was taken during Kate and William’s tour of North America.
In contrast, Kate’s luggage is a total miss mash. While living in London after graduating from university, Kate was a weekend warrior (she only worked 4 days a week which helped) and the green bag below made a lot of appearances. By the way, I have those same shoes she’s wearing in the pic below. They are from LK Bennet and the are just the best, though I think the last time they were in stores was 2008.
Here is the bag and those shoes again.
This was taken at Gatwick airport in July of 2007. Kate was en route to the Seychelles where she met prince William (he arrived shortly after her). This was after the short-lived April 2007 breakup heard around the world..
Ok, now we’ll fast forward to the summer of 2011 when Kate and William toured Canada. Remember the big accidental dress reveal?
It happened as Kate and William’s luggage was being loaded into the airport in Yellowknife, and eagle eyes spotted the dress and correctly assumed the dress was for the BAFTA event they were to attend in Los Angeles. Here it is on Kate.
And here’s a close up of some of the other luggage on the tarmac. The spotted one is from Cath Kitson and the red is Longchamp. She has it in a few different colours and sizes.
To end, here are Kate’s outfit options arriving at the hospital after Prince George was born. More random bags!
We’ll see if her luggage gets an upgrade for the Australia and New Zealand tour!
In the meantime, here’s a round up of some articles around the web with more bits and pieces about the tour if you’re in the mood for more.
Kate’s bought a pretty new pair of pearls from Kiwi jewelry designers to wear on the tour.
Prince George will be wearing some cute stripes from Baby Gap.
And here are some other ideas of what outfits Kate may have packed.
Government House in New Zealand where Kate and William will stat fir the first part if the tour
UPDATED April 6, 2014: The tour has begun: Kate and William were spotted switching planes in Sydney en route to New Zealand. Kate was carrying her navy Longchamp bag (well, actually William was carrying it for her since she had Prince George). Also, is that a Kangaroo?
And it still looks like a total mishmash of bags. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for more photos like this during the tour.
Ok, and this video is hilarious. Seriously, it made me laugh out loud. It’s a morning news show in Australia and they are trying to make a story out of William and Kate getting on their plane to New Zealand and they’re having a lot of fun with it. They talk about the luggage being loaded on, they beg William and Kate to turn around at the top of the stairs when we’re boarding the plane, and we even see Kate’s secretary Rebecca Deacon carrying a hat box and garment bag onto the plane….so perhaps Kate will be wearing that hat and outfit when she disembarks?