Surprising Countries Queen Elizabeth Never Visited

It's a big world, and few people are fortunate enough to see all of it — not even the long-lived Queen Elizabeth was able to get it done. There are 195 countries across the world, and although world travel has steadily increased since the 1950s, it is still a rarity for anyone to visit all nations. Elizabeth was the longest-reigning monarch in her country's history, sitting on the throne for 70 years, and during that time, she traveled to 117 countries on official state visits, meaning she saw 60% of the world's countries. Undoubtedly, she will forever be remembered as one of the most well-traveled women in history.

Although 117 is an impressive number of countries, she missed out on stepping foot in 40% of countries across the globe. While some countries, such as North Korea, were understandably never visited by the queen, some of her exclusions were more surprising ommissions from her royal tours and official royal visits.

From her husband's home country to multiple Commonwealth countries, Elizabeth never visited the following places during her seven-decade reign.

Some members of the royal family have visited Israel but never Queen Elizabeth

Israel is one of the most prominent countries in the Middle East, and it has long had one of the best relationships with Western countries, particularly the United States, out of any country in the region. Still, its relationship with the United Kingdom has been rocky for many years, with a major signal of poor relations being Queen Elizabeth abstaining from visiting for her entire reign. According to experts, security and diplomacy were the top reasons the former monarch never visited Israel. "It would create tremendous, intractable problems and the Queen doesn't want to be included in those," historian Hugo Vickers told the BBC while Elizabeth was still alive.

Those who live in Israel saw Queen Elizabeth's refusal to visit a little differently. "The sad but inescapable conclusion, therefore, is that she herself is part of this nasty, petty British intrigue to deny Israel that rankling vestige of legitimation that is in their power to bestow or withhold — a royal visit," former Haaretz editor-in-chief David Landau said while he was still alive, as reported by the Middle East Eye. Although Queen Elizabeth never visited Israel, some of the men in her family have. Prince Philip took a trip prior to his death, and King Charles (then Prince Charles) and Prince William have both visited previously.

As monarch, Queen Elizabeth never visited her husband's home country of Greece

Throughout her reign as monarch, Queen Elizabeth II never visited Greece — despite it being geographically close to England and her relation to the Greek royal family via her husband. However, the latter reason may be precisely why she didn't visit the nation. Although Prince Philip was born in Greece, he didn't grow up there. When he was a baby, his family was exiled from Greece, and the wounds never seemed to heal. "Prince Philip doesn't like Greece, because they put his father [Prince Andrew] on trial, and he might have been executed. In 1922, they all had to flee," historian Hugo Vickers told BBC News.

Although she never visited Greece as queen, Elizabeth did visit the country prior to her reign. However, Greece was plagued with political instability throughout much of the latter half of the 20th century, and between that and Prince Philip's distaste for the country, Queen Elizabeth stayed away. The Greek monarchy was also abolished in 1973, and it is assumed that no president of the country ever invited Elizabeth to visit. She did, however, remain close friends with Constantine II of Greece, the last reigning king of Greece, until her death.

King Charles visited Rwanda in place of Queen Elizabeth

The sun really doesn't set on the British Empire. Nearly 60 countries across the world are still part of the British Commonwealth. Rwanda was one of the most recent additions, joining in 2009. While she was monarch, Queen Elizabeth made it to all but two countries in the Commonwealth — one of which was Rwanda. The reason she never visited the country was never stated, but in 2022 she did send then-Prince Charles to represent her.

All eyes were on the visit as the two countries were not on the best terms at the time. According to some experts, the two countries have never had great relations. Some believe the Commonwealth hasn't done enough to help Rwanda economically. "The challenge for the Commonwealth was always how the developed nations can help the poor countries transform themselves economically," former diplomat James Mugume told the Associated Press. He added, "When it comes to real issues, like how to increase trade and market access, that's where the challenge is."

Moving forward, some hope that King Charles will help improve relations between the two countries because of his genuine care for the environment. The two countries have also recently worked to create a plan for Britain to send asylum seekers to Rwanda.

Queen Elizabeth stayed away from Argentina reportedly due to past tensions

Relations between Argentina and the United Kingdom have been tense for many years. In 1982, the two territories broke out into war over the Falkland Islands. Today, the United Kingdom claims ownership over the Falkland Islands ... but so does Argentina, calling them Las Malvinas. Experts believe Queen Elizabeth never considered taking a trip to Argentina because of this tension, according to The Telegraph. Some Argentine citizens, however, were disappointed that the monarch never visited their country. "I would have liked the queen to have returned the islands to us before she died," Buenos Aires citizen Maria Lujan Rodriguez told AFP. Others have conflicting thoughts. "It is very painful. I've been following her since she was crowned at 25. She was a great queen, but I cannot forget that she ruled during the Falklands War. ... It was a very sad moment for everyone," Argentine actor Mirtha Legrand said after Queen Elizabeth's death.

Other royal family members have made it to Argentina, though. Prince Philip visited the South American country while serving in the royal military in the 1960s. Prince William also spent time in the Falklands in 2012, and Princess Anne visited Argentina in 2013, though neither visit was received well by locals.

Queen Elizabeth never visited the Commonwealth country of Cameroon

Cameroon was the other Commonwealth country Queen Elizabeth never visited during her reign. This is surprising considering Elizabeth made her rounds to many African nations during her time as queen. She had a relationship with President Paul Biya, who twice visited her at Buckingham Palace, and she met students from the country who were offered royal scholarships.

One reason Elizabeth didn't visit Cameroon could have been because, in 1997, the Royal Yacht Britannica was decommissioned, and experts say it made a huge difference in the queen's travels. Still, some British royals have been to Cameroon. Back in 1990, then-Prince Charles and Princess Diana visited the country while on a royal tour of Africa.

Although Queen Elizabeth never visited, the two countries are on good terms. Still, not everyone was a fan of hers. "If anyone expects me to express anything but disdain for the monarch who supervised a government that sponsored the genocide that massacred and displaced half my family and the consequences of which those alive today are still trying to overcome, you can keep wishing upon a star," Professor Uju Anya controversially tweeted after Queen Elizabeth's death.

Queen Elizabeth liked Taiwan, but she never actually traveled there

The United Kingdom is on good terms with many countries across the world, including Taiwan, but Elizabeth never visited the Asian nation during her tenure as queen. While she was alive, Queen Elizabeth expressed her affinity for Taiwanese horticulture, and a special orchid hybrid was named the Doritaenopsis Elizabeth II after her. Members of parliament have met with state officials and the President of Tawain, too. Still, the former monarch never made it to the country, likely because the diplomatic relations between the United Kingdom and Taiwan were, and are, not formal.

The Tawainese government did not take offense to Queen Elizabeth never visiting, and officials were very gracious upon news of her death. "[We] hope to use the most appropriate way to express the mourning of our government and people to the British royal family and government," Tsui Ching-lin, deputy spokesman for the Taiwan Foreign Ministry, told Reuters.

President Tsai Ing-wen tweeted, "Taiwan remembers & celebrates her life of leadership & service, which set an example for people around the world." Britain showed its appreciation for Tawain in the wake of Queen Elizabeth's death by asking a representative of the Asian country to sign an official condolence book for the monarch.

Despite King Charles owning a house in Romania, Queen Elizabeth never visited the country

The United Kingdom has strong relations with Romania, and the two royal families are even related. King Charles is close friends with his distant cousin, Margareta of Romania; however, Queen Elizabeth never visited the Eastern European nation. This could be because, for several decades in the 20th century, Romania was under the communist rule of dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, whom Elizabeth seemingly did not like. When Ceaușescu visited the United Kingdom, things reportedly didn't go well for Queen Elizabeth. "So for the first and only time in her life, she actually hides in a bush in the Palace garden to avoid her own guests. ... The Queen puts up with having many different people, but Ceaușescu was too much for her," journalist Robert Hardman said of the state visit in the documentary "Inside the Crowd: Secrets of the Royals" (via Independent).

Nevertheless, Charles owns property in Romania. He is the proud owner of a quaint but stunning home outside Transylvania that he visits and is available to rent. Charles has had positive things to say about the country, too. "I've come to love Romania — your culture and art, your heritage and history, your sweeping landscapes and priceless biodiversity," Charles revealed in a speech during a state visit.

The Prince of Monaco always visited Queen Elizabeth in England

Monarchies are widely considered an outdated form of government, and in many of the countries where monarchies still exist, the royals are nothing more than figureheads. Given that, it is easy to assume that all the monarchs in the world would band together, supporting each other in their unique endeavors. But that does not seem to be the case — at least not for the British royal family. Although Queen Elizabeth was friendly with many other monarchs while she was alive, she did not visit each of their countries. Surprisingly, she never made it to Monaco as queen.

Although Elizabeth didn't visit during her reign, members of the Monaco royal family have been to the United Kingdom. Prince Albert II has been to England on multiple state visits, and in 2022, he and his wife Charlene attended Queen Elizabeth's funeral. The Monegasque royals issued a statement to King Charles upon his mother's death, writing in part, "It is with profound sadness that My Family and I learned of the passing away of your beloved mother, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Allow me to convey to you, to the members of the Royal Family, and to the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, my most heartfelt and sincere condolences for your loss at this time of great sorrow."

Queen Elizabeth never graced Andorra with her presence

Queen Elizabeth visited many countries in Europe while she reigned as monarch, but she surprisingly never made it to Andorra. The principality is ruled by jointly Prince Joan Enric Vives Sicília, Bishop of Urgell, and Emmanuel Macron, President of France. Elizabeth had a particularly strong relationship with President Macron, and he shared an emotional message upon her death. "Her wisdom and empathy have helped us all to steer a path through the historic ups and downs of the last seven decades. With her passing, we all feel an emptiness. Millions of people around the world discovered the images of her coronation, and were immediately captivated by the young leader who already exhibited such strength and courage," he said (via Elysée).

Andorra is located between Spain and France, and despite having good relations with both European countries, Queen Elizabeth never visited Andorra. As monarch, she visited a few cities throughout Spain in 1988, and she traveled to France on multiple occasions, as recently as 2014. The queen was also always a gracious host to Andorra ambassadors. She met with Mrs. Maria Rosa Picart de Francis, Mr. Albert Pintat, and Mr. Juli Minoves-Triqell at Buckingham Palace on separate occasions. In 2022, she also met with an ambassador from Andorra virtually after she was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Queen Elizabeth spent time in Asia but never in Cambodia

As noted, simply having a monarchy was not enough to garner a state visit from Queen Elizabeth. Cambodia's royal family, led by King Norodom Sihamoni, has a good relationship with the British royal family, but King Norodom has never been to the United Kingdom on a state visit, and Queen Elizabeth never visited Cambodia while she was alive. Still, King Norodom was certain to honor Elizabeth upon her death in 2022. "We pay a respectful homage to the Memory of Her Majesty QUEEN ELIZABETH Il, the longest-serving Head of State in the world, who shall be remembered for Her great and constant devotion to Her Motherland, May Her soul rest in Peace. Our thoughts are with Your Majesty and the nation of the United Kingdom at this sorrowful time. Our thoughts are with Your Majesty and the nation of the United Kingdom at this sorrowful time," he revealed in a statement provided to Khmer Times.

The good relationship between the United Kingdom and Cambodia has continued during King Charles III's reign. Soon after Charles' accession, King Norodom issued his congratulations. "I would like to extend to Your Majesty my warmest congratulations and best wishes for Your Majesty's future well-being as well as for the great prosperity of Your country and happiness of all Your loyal subjects," he wrote (via Khmer Times). "I am confident the existing excellent bonds of friendship and cooperation between our two Kingdoms and peoples will continue to prosper under Your Majesty's reign."

Instead of Queen Elizabeth, Prince William and Princess Catherine toured Bhutan

Bhutan is another country with a monarchy that Queen Elizabeth never saw with her own eyes. Relations between the two countries are friendly, but the former monarch never visited for unspecified reasons. However, in 2016, Prince William and Princess Catherine visited the South Asian country while on a royal tour.

On their visit, William and Catherine were welcomed by Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck and Jetsun Pema, the Bhutanese monarch and queen consort, respectively, who've been called the "Will and Kate of the Himalayas." The Bhutanese monarch and his wife showed William and Catherine many traditional aspects of life in their country. The British royals even participated in archery while there.

Like so many royals who were never formally visited by Queen Elizabeth in their home countries, the Bhutanese royal family sent condolences upon her passing. "In an incredible reign of 70 years, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has inspired generations of people across the world. Through her tireless and selfless service to her people, Her Majesty will always be remembered for the wisdom, grace, dignity and strength she personified," the King and Queen of Bhutan said in a statement shared to Pema's Instagram feed on the day of Elizabeth's death.