Inside And Aboard The Royal Train That Will Transport The Queen And Meghan Markle To Their First Joint Event
What’s inside the Royal Train, how old is it, and why are the Queen and Meghan Markle riding it?
Queen Elizabeth II and the new Duchess of Sussex Meghan will be spending an overnight train ride together on their way to Cheshire on June 14, where they will attend their very first event together, just the two of them! It can be remembered that it took Kate Middleton nine months after her wedding to Prince William before she went on a solo event with the Queen. On the other hand, it’s just been short of a month since Meghan has joined the royal family and she’s already been summoned for an overnight trip with the Queen.
But what’s even more surprising is that the Queen’s invitation for Meghan to join her aboard the Royal Train is quite prestigious. Apparently, even Prince Harry, Prince William, and even Kate have yet to receive an invitation to ride the Royal Train. Apart from Prince Charles who uses it the most, only the Queen, Duchess Camilla, and Prince Philip have access to the nine-car iron vehicle.
So what really is this Royal Train and what’s the mystic royal air that surrounds it?
The Royal Train dates back to 150 years ago when Queen Victoria became the first reigning monarch to ride the train in 1842. The train is for the exclusive use of the senior members of the British Royal Family and associated staff of the Royal Household, and runs on the railway network of Great Britain.
Since it was established in 1842, the Royal Train has had many reworks and replacements. The original carriages commissioned by Queen Victoria is now on display at the National Railway Museum in York. Right now, the carriages being used in the Royal Train include those from Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee celebrations in 1977, and some new ones commissioned back in 1985 to 1987.
Currently, the Royal Train is being operated by the German rail haulage firm DB Cargo UK, and includes dedicated carriages for the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles, the Royal Family, and the Royal Household.
The Queen’s carriage is equipped with a bedroom, bathroom, and sitting room, just like the Duke of Edinburgh Prince Philip’s. According to Observer, the Queen’s bathroom is stylishly equipped with a full-size bathtub for her morning bath, and the train even slows down when she takes a bath so she can do so in peace.
Prince Philip’s, on the other hand, is equipped with a regular shower. He does, however, have his own saloon that’s fitted with an electric kitchen, and a sitting room that’s filled with pea-green chairs in case he wants to hold meetings.
Two of the newest carriages, both commissioned in 1987, are used by the Prince of Wales. Just like the Queen’s and Prince Philip’s, he makes do with three-foot-wide single beds inside his bedroom.
According to many critics, the Royal Train is an expensive “under-used relic,” but to date, it remains as the most secure way to transport royals who have busy schedules over an extended period of time without disrupting the public. This is why the use of the train is only allowed to the four senior members of the Royal Family.
One teensy fact about the Royal Train: If the Queen dies in Scotland, the Royal Train will be the vehicle that transports her corpse from Edinburgh to London, as laid out by the plans for her death, which was codenamed Operation London Bridge.
Photo from @TheBritishMonarchy