Over her 70-year reign, the late Queen Elizabeth II traveled to 120 countries for duty, service and personal reasons.
The recently deceased Queen was quite the jet setter and visited 120+ countries during her powerful rule.
Queen Elizabeth II of England died on September 8th, 2022, marking the end of one of the longest reigns in British history. The Queen was notorious for visiting many countries around the world, many of which used to be under her rule. She was able to live through revolutions and revolts that made up a defining age of independence around the world. Although British history is tainted with imperialism and colonialism, it is essential to look at history through the lens of progress and an ever-changing world.
So, where exactly did the Queen visit? Here are some of the most exciting places she visited and why.
Right after being crowned in Westminster Abbey in 1953, Queen Elizabeth II toured the Commonwealth of England, which includes the island of Bermuda, among many other places. On this trip, she also visited Jamaica, Tonga, New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka, Yemen, and Uganda. These all used to be colonies or colony-equivalents of the British empire.
On this trip in 1954, there are rumors that 3 out of every 4 people in New Zealand got to see the Queen during her visit. In commemoration of the Queen, the sheep of New Zealand were dyed red, white, and blue to pay homage to the flag of the U.K.
It is hard to top Elizabeth’s first trip to Paris as a Queen in 1957. She was in attendance at the Palais Garnier opera house, saw the Palace of Versailles, and, of course, had a lavish meal at the Louvre.
The United States
The Queen visited Britain’s infamous old set of colonies on the 350th anniversary of the settlement of Jamestown. She met President Dwight Eisenhower, was awed by the Empire State Building, and even got to live out her American college football dreams by watching a game in Maryland.
The Queen had an eye-opening experience in Nepal in 1961, where she visited the Hanuman Dhoka palace and even rode an elephant. She was part of a tiger hunt that, at the time, was not considered inhumane, but today drives significant criticism. She was known for recording her foreign trips on a camera she took everywhere, Nepal included.
Prior to the revolution, Iran hosted the Queen in 1961. After seeing the ruins of a World Heritage Site — Persepolis — she visited many mosques and was greeted by the Shah at the time, who was soon to be deposed.
The Queen was the first British monarch to visit the Vatican — talk about leaving a mark! She visited the pope at the time and was able to see two more popes throughout her lifetime.
This rather influential trip symbolized the U.K.’s kind gestures after World War II. She visited West Berlin in 1965 before the crashing of the Berlin Wall, and pictures of her visit spread like wildfire through the media.
Once again, being the first, the Queen was the foremost British monarch to visit South America in 1968. She was gifted lovely Brazilian jewelry and even experienced a football match. But I wonder if she yelled, “Goallllllll!”
The Queen and her prince lived in Malta from 1949 to 1951 before she was crowned a monarch. She made her last visit to her old home in 2015.
On a 3-day trip, the Queen visited Moscow in 1994 and even attended the Bolshoi Ballet. She, however, most notably reflected on how surprised she was at the changes in Russia at the time after the fall of the Soviet Union.
The Queen visited this former colony plenty of times, but most notably in 1997, which marked 50 years since India’s independence. This trip drew much criticism as many believed the words and actions of the Queen were not enough of an apology for all the sufferings and deaths the U.K put its former colony through.
This place holds great significance for the Queen as she was here when she learned of her father’s death, and thus her reign began. She was told the news atop the Treetops Hotel and visited that same hotel again in 1983.
As a lady of firsts, the Queen was the first female head of state to visit Saudi Arabia in 1979. She had to carefully plan her wardrobe due to the very conservative culture and female dress code in Saudi Arabia at the time.
The United Kingdom
As the Queen grew older, she cut back on traveling outside the country. Because of Britain’s infamous past as colonizers of the world, it eventually became frowned upon for the Queen of said colonizers to revisit the former colonies. Nonetheless, the Queen vacationed all around the U.K. and stayed in Scotland at Balmoral castle for the majority of her later years. It was here that she died — may she rest in peace.
Tracking the Queen’s whereabouts throughout her life is a challenging task, so here are the remaining locations she also visited: Ireland, Australia, Canada, South Africa, China, Tuvalu, Mexico, Vanuatu, Yugoslavia, Thailand, Turkey, Ghana, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Tonga.
Paloma visited the U.K in the Summer of 2022.