The measures the royal family has to take if Meghan Markle wants to visit friends abroad

Meghan Markle is reported to be considering seeing friends in the US – but is it that easy when you’re a royal? [Photo: Rex]

There’s no question that Meghan Markle has had to sacrifice a lot since becoming a fully-fledged royal, from her social media accounts, to her beloved pooch Bogart (who was considered too old to come to the UK) and her old wardrobe.

But perhaps the toughest part of the Duchess of Sussex‘s transition into royal life is leaving behind her friends.

While many of her more high-profile pals attended her royal wedding in May – Serena Williams, Priyanka Chopra and Misha Nonoo included – its understandable that Meghan wants to catchup with many of her US-based friends she’s missing.

So much so that it’s been reported the 36-year-old is planning a solo trip to the US this summer to visit her nearest and dearest.

It’s thought that Meghan’s “unofficial trip” to the US will be arranged completely on a personal basis.

“She’s planning a personal, unofficial trip this summer to see family and friends,” a source told US Weekly. “She’ll go to New York then LA.”

But for the Duchess, it’s not as easy as booking the soonest EasyJet flight out of London Gatwick: there’s a ton of measures and procedures that have to be considered first.

How will Meghan’s personal trips be dealt with?

As the Duchess’ trips will be considered ‘personal holidays’, it would be highly unusual for Kensington Palace to announce them to the public, as it does with official trips.

However, there are a ton of authorities who will have to sign off Meghan’s trip before she get the full go-ahead.

Dickie Arbiter, the Queen’s former press secretary, explains the steps that would have to be taken to Yahoo Style UK. 

“If the Duchess of Sussex wishes to travel abroad privately, she would first have to get get permission from the Queen,” Arbiter explains. “Then the Foreign Office would have to be informed, and finally the Foreign Office would inform the British Ambassador in Washington.”

“Depending where she was going the Ambassador would have to inform the local Consul to ask for his or her staff to provide support.”

How will Meghan travel?

Interestingly, there’s a chance Meghan will have to travel commercially for personal trips.

This is because the royals are strictly banned from travelling on private jets unless on official business.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been known to fly commercially: Kate boarded a British Airways flight from Rotterdam to London in 2016, while William was spotted on a Ryanair flight to Glasgow the year before. 

However, this rule – implemented by the Queen – might be wavered for Meghan’s specific circumstances and the media attention surrounding the new royal right now.

Arbiter says that the airline would have to be informed ahead of the flight.

After this, the Ambassador would have to inform the State Department who would take on the security and stateside airport arrival logistics.

Harry and Meghan arrived in Ireland with a team of 11. [Photo: Getty]

Who will Meghan take with her on personal trips?

For their inaugural overseas visit, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived in Ireland with an 11-strong entourage comprised of security, press officers and stylists.

While Meghan certainly won’t require (nor want) such a large team for her personal trips, it’s highly unlikely she’ll make them totally alone.

As far as an entourage is concerned, Arbiter says Meghan “can take as many as she likes but she or the Duke of Sussex would have to pay for them.”

“The only people who would be paid for by the British taxpayer would be her Protection Officers – there would have to be at least two, and maybe three, to provide 24 hour protection,” he continues.

There’s also a chance the royal will be accompanied by her assistant private secretary Amy Pickerill.

According to Arbiter, it’s highly unlikely Meghan’s ‘private’ trips will ever stay that way.

“There is no such thing as a private visit as the media would get wind and no doubt attempt to book on the same flight,” he says.

If rumours of Meghan’s US trip are true or not, the royal is already set to have a busy year of overseas travel.

Meghan, along with her husband Prince Harry, are due to visit Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, and the Kingdom of Tonga in October for an official visit. 


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