Queen Elizabeth: Why monarch and Prince Philip won’t share a bed when they travel

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Queen Elizabeth is the best-travelled monarch so it stands to reason the royal head has fine-tuned her jet-setting preferences. While many couples might see travelling as a time to rekindle the flames of passion, it would seem this is rarely the case for the Queen and her husband Prince Philip. The Royal Yacht Britannia was once one of the monarch’s favourite methods of travel.

However, it is said there were no double beds at all on the vessel.

This is because Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip did not sleep together.

Writer Brian Hoey revealed in his book ‘Not in Front of the Corgis’ that the spouses had separate cabins when they travelled on the Royal Yacht Britannia.

The absence of double beds was entirely down to their preferences.

Hoey explained that crew had to get inventive when other couples came onboard.

“When Britannia was used for royal honeymoons, the crew (known as Yachties) would rope two single beds together,” Hoey wrote.

There are various reasons behind this sleeping arrangement, according to the author.

One of these is that many couples of Elizabeth and Philip’s generation and class don’t share a bed at all times.

Another explanation is due to their bedding preferences.

“The Queen likes a longer turn-back on her sheets and blankets and lace trimming on her pillowcases; Prince Philip does not,” Hoey wrote in the book.

According to the author, Philip enjoys being cool at night.

“As he was brought up in the rigid, Puritanism of life at Gordonstoun [School], where cold showers and stoicism were the order of the day, he sleeps with his windows wide open whatever the weather temperature,” said Hoey.

“He has never used a hot water bottle in his life.”

The Prince is also an early riser so is said to not wish to disturb his wife in the morning.

Sleeping arrangements aren’t the only aspect of travel the royals have strong views on.

The Duke of Edinburgh has previously spoken of his hatred of train travel.

In 1952, before the Queen ascended to the throne, the then-Princess and Philip travelled to Canada on a royal tour, much of which was undertaken by train.

Author Robert Hardman, in his book Queen of the World, wrote: “It was a hugely ambitious tour, designed to carry the royal couple all across Canada and then back again.

“Much of the journey would be by special Royal Train decorated in the Princess’s favourite ‘surf green,’ along with green damask and taffeta curtains and a light-brown carpet.”

The plush interior design of the train apparently contributed very little to Philip’s wellbeing, however.

“If it was snug and well insulated against the increasingly bracing weather, the Duke found it faintly claustrophobic,” said Hardman.

“‘I feel like a poached egg. I just can’t breathe on trains,’ he announced as he disembarked in Vancouver.”

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