After seven decades on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II, is the most well-travelled British monarch in history.
As a young woman, however, the Queen was not very well-traveled, and by the age of 20, she had never even left the United Kingdom.
The Queen who took over the reins in 1952, has visited 117 countries during her reign.
Here are some of her majesty’s favourite places:
The East African country holds a special place in the Queen’s heart as it is here that she learnt about her father’s death, George VI.
She and her late husband, Prince Phillip were staying at Keya’s oldest safari lodge, Treetops, an elaborate treehouse on the edge of a watering hole in Aberdare National Park. Unfortunately, the lodge was closed last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
As her armed escort, Jim Corbett wrote in the Treetops logbook: “For the first time in the history of the world, a young girl climbed into the tree as a princess and climbed down as a queen.”
Her father, George VI, announced the family’s trip to South Africa in February 1947, just a few months before her engagement to Prince Philip that summer.
The royal family arrived in Cape Town for a two-month vacation – the first state visit since 1939, when World War II broke out – and spent 35 nights aboard the White Train, a special royal train.
The royal tour’s major emphasis was Princess Elizabeth, who turned 21 on April 21 while they were there. The day was declared a national holiday, and she was given a stunning 21-stone gemstone necklace to commemorate the occasion.
The Queen has visited Canada the most, with a total of 27 trips to the North American country.
Her most insightful visit was in 1994, when she went on a state tour with the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Edward.
The jam-packed agenda included a visit to Nova Scotia – specifically, the provincial city of Halifax and its coastal neighbor, Dartmouth – before embarking on an arduous journey to the Northwest Territories, just a couple of miles south of the Arctic Circle.
She then went to British Columbia, which was hosting the Commonwealth Games for the 15th time. The Queen spent time exploring some of the province’s wilder areas after cutting the ribbon on the event, including the Khutzeymateen Inlet, which is known for its grizzly bears.
One of the Queen’s most exotic and adventurous journeys was to Brazil in 1968, as part of a two-week excursion across South America.
The tour took her and Prince Philip to Recife, Salvador, Brasilia, and Sao Paulo, where they stopped to view the city’s skyscrapers from the top of the Edificio Italia, a 46-story building.
The royal couple then traveled to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s bustling metropolis, where they drove along Copacabana Beach in an open-top Rolls Royce and witnessed a cup final football match.
The British monarch had the honor of presenting the victory trophy to great footballer Pelé during this event.
St Mawes, Cornwall
This charming coastal town on Cornwall’s southern coast, noted for its whitewashed cottages and lovely harbour, has always had a special place in the Queen’s heart as a location where she spent many childhood holidays.
The Queen’s Mother was a frequent visitor to the charming fishing resort, and she would take Elizabeth and Margaret there on regular seaside excursions.
The Queen’s Mother’s family would always stay at Penolva, a stunning remote lakeside residence built by Dick Wilkins, a personal friend of the family.
The small village, which is located in the heart of the Cornish Riviera, has amazing 180-degree ocean views and immediate sea access via a private slipway.
The sun-dappled Mediterranean archipelago of Malta is the Queen’s lone residence outside of the United Kingdom.
Between 1949 and 1951, she lived here with Prince Philip in one of their first houses while the Duke of Edinburgh was stationed there as a Royal Navy officer.
Villa Guardamangia, an opulent 18th-century palace with 18 rooms, stables, and a large garden, was their home. Lord Louis Mountbatten, Prince Philip’s uncle, gave the young couple the palazzo-style villa, which was located in the capital city of Valletta’s outskirts.
The house is currently undergoing repairs and is set to open as a museum.
The Queen was able to live a fairly typical life as the wife of a navy officer while she was there, going shopping in her Morris Minor and enjoying boat cruises across the archipelago. Malta is thought to have held many happy memories for the couple: in 2015, the Queen remarked the island was “always extremely special for me” at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Malta.