Queen ensures one outfit always included in luggage when going away ‘Part of her life’

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A black mourning outfit must be packed when the Queen and senior members of the Royal Family travel, in case there is a death in the family while they are away. The outfit ensures that they will be dressed respectfully when seen in public after the announcement. The Independent reported that newscasters must also travel with a black outfit, in case they have to report on the death of a Royal Family member while abroad.

Host of Royally US, Molly Mulshine opened up about the royal tradition for mourning on her podcast. 

She said: “The Queen has always travelled with an extra black outfit, in case someone passes away and she needs to return to the UK in mourning dress”.

“It’s a part of their lives, it’s a part of everyone’s lives but for them it’s the appearance of it and choreographing it”.

The tradition is said to have started in February 1952, when King George VI died. 

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While hearing the news, Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip were enjoying a short break in Kenya.

The new monarch quickly rushed back to Britain on the royal jet but before she was back on UK soil, a black dress was taken on board for her to change into.

Since then, every member of the Royal Family is asked to pack a black outfit in case it were to happen again. 

Days later, at King George VI’s funeral, the Queen, her mother, grandmother Queen Mary, and sister Princess Margaret appeared in long black veils, a tradition at the funeral of a Sovereign.

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When Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, died April 9, the Queen entered a two-week mourning period. 

Her famously bright two-pieces were swapped for somber, all-black apparel. The entire family follows a stringent dress code in times of mourning. 

Philip’s funeral was the first royal funeral in the UK since the death of the Queen Mother in 2002.

At 101, she died one month after her daughter, Princess Margaret, who was 71. 


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Mourning dress isn’t the only tradition that the Royal Family have regarding a death in the family. 

Cosmopolitan recently reported that the family have secret code words and phrases that are used in the event of a royal death or emergency. 

They reported: “The Queen has arguably the most powerful code name of all: Operation London Bridge.

“The Queen’s private secretary will be the one responsible for informing people of importance and kicking planned protocol into action, by declaring “London Bridge is down.”

They also reported: “The bridge that will have been used as a code word in reference to his [Prince Philip’s] death, is ‘Operation Forth Bridge’.

“Forth Bridge is a bridge in Edinburgh, Scotland – and as he’s the Duke of Edinburgh, he’s been given a bridge to match.”

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