Could the Queen be considered the ultimate business traveller? After 60 years on the British throne, Queen Elizabeth II is perhaps the most widely-travelled monarch in history. When she's not on the Royal train or yacht, the Queen has long been a passenger of British Airways, and forerunners such as BOAC.
To mark Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee, the British Airways Museum has scoured its archives and put together a history of some of the Queen’s memorable travel moments...
Her Majesty’s The Queen’s association with BEA, BOAC and British Caledonian Airways – all predecessor airlines of today’s British Airways - started while she was still Princess Elizabeth.
On 21 January 1947 she visited London Airport to christen for BOAC an Avro Tudor aircraft Elizabeth of England. Her Royal Highness is seen here meeting some of the BOAC staff on duty that day.
BOAC’s staff followed with particular interest the visit of Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh to Canada in 1951.
The airline had been deeply honoured to be asked to fly the royal couple from London Airport to Montreal; the flight was make in one of the airline’s Boeing Stratocruisers under the command of Captain O P Jones OBE.
The BOAC Review issued in December 1951 duly recorded the royal arrival in Montreal, complete with a Mountie’s salute.
While visiting Kenya with the Duke of Edinburgh Princess Elizabeth learnt on 6 February 1952 of the death of her father King George VI and of her own accession to the throne as Queen Elizabeth II.
Plans were made for her immediate return to London, where her BOAC Argonaut aircraft – commanded by Captain Ron Parker – touched down during the afternoon of 7 February.
First to greet the new Queen on her arrival was Winston Churchill MP, her first Prime Minister
On 16 February 1957 The Queen travelled to Portugal, visiting Oporto and Lisbon in Portugal. On this occasion she travelled in Vickers Viscount 700 series G-ANHE of British European Airways which was commanded by Captain A S Johnson.
At the end of the return flight to London Airport, on 21 February, Her Majesty conferred Membership of the Royal Victorian Order upon Captain Johnson.
The Queen, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Anne, made a state visit to Austria in May 1969.
The journey to and from Vienna was made in a Super 1-11 aircraft of British European Airways.
On 2 November 1977 The Queen ended her Silver Jubilee year of travels with a 1,134mph flight home from Bridgetown, Barbados on Concorde.
On Monday 19 February 1979 the Queen flew on Concorde from snowy Heathrow to the sunshine of Kuwait in just under four hours, at the start of a three-week Middle East tour that would include Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
The Queen’s Private Secretary later wrote to Ross Stainton, BA’s Chief Executive to saw how the Queen was especially glad to make her visit to Saudi Arabia by Concorde.
Apart from making the first day of the tour very much easier for Her Majesty, this wonderful aircraft created a great impression, and there could have been no better way of commencing a most important tour
HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh boarding a British Airways aircraft on another of their royal tours.
11 October 1986 saw the Queen leave Heathrow on a British Airways Lockheed 1011 TriStar for Peking (Beijing) where she was to be met by the Duke of Edinburgh.
The flight was the start of a 13-day visit to China and the Far East; Captain John Lester commanded the aircraft on its first sector to Muscat where Captain Terry Lakin took over.
The Queen arriving at Heathrow February 7 1952: While visiting Kenya with the Duke of Edinburgh Princess Elizabeth learnt on 6 February 1952 of the death of her father King George VI and of her own accession to the throne as Queen Elizabeth II.
Plans were made for her immediate return to London, where her BOAC Argonaut aircraft – commanded by Captain Ron Parker – touched down during the afternoon of 7 February. First to greet the new Queen on her arrival was Winston Churchill MP, her first Prime Minister.