The Queen, who celebrates her 90th birthday today, has travelled 42 times round the world. She’s racked up a LOT of travel miles. The jet-setting monarch has travelled around the world 42 times, visiting 120 countries during her 90 years – and all without a passport.
The monarch, who celebrates her 90th birthday on Thursday, has travelled to more than 60% of the world’s 196 countries, according to royal historian Kate Williams.
Canada, which the Queen has travelled to more than 25 times, is her most-visited long-haul destination. France and Germany have proved popular, the research commissioned by travel website lastminute.com found. Over the last 90 years, the monarch has visited countries including Thailand, Latvia, Pakistan and Sudan – and as British passports are issued in her name she is the only member of the Royal Family not required to carry one during her visits.
During her first year on the throne, the Queen travelled more than 40,000 miles and visited 12 countries for her six-month Commonwealth tour, which took place between November 1953 and May 1954. And in 1979, she visited six countries in two months as part of a tour of the Middle East.
The Queen has received many gifts on her travels, including a baby elephant during her visit to Cameroon in 1972, which was given to London Zoo. Although usually accustomed to staying in the smartest hotels, the Queen took a bed and breakfast manager by surprise in 1981, after getting stuck in a blizzard near Bristol and asking to stay the night. The manager insisted on giving the monarch his own top floor flat to stay in.
Williams, who led the research for lastminute.com, said: “With the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge currently touring India, travel is most definitely in our monarchy’s blue blood, and it will be exciting to see where their wanderlust takes them in the future.”