An Inside Look At The Queen And Meghan Markle's Debut Train Trip
All aboard the royal express.
The Queen and her travel companion Meghan Markle -- now better known as the Duchess of Sussex -- are set to roar off on their very first royal tour together on June 14.
Their one-day tour of Chester city in the country's northwest is business-only and involves three engagements -- two official openings and a lunch. A flying visit you might say.
With that in mind the Queen and the duchess have opted for a speedy -- yet rather traditional -- form of transport for the 320-kilometre journey from London. No, it's not a private jet or military helicopter, nor is it a plush chauffeur-driven limousine.
Liz and Megs -- who's taking her first trip sans new hubby Harry -- will be taking the train. A very special train at that. It's not the Hogwarts Express -- duh -- but it's pretty darn close. Welcome aboard Britain's most exclusive railway service.
The royal train has been in use for over 150 years and is the only private, non-commercial locomotive service used by a single family that's still in operation in the United Kingdom.
Okay we admit that the above image -- with its clouds of steam and vintage-looking exterior -- is a bit of an over-sell. The current royal train that the Queen and Meghan will use will most likely be electric -- not steam-powered -- with a slightly more modern look and feel.
But wouldn't it just be amazing to see the royal duo whisked off in such dramatic fashion? We can only dream.
The exterior of the royal train -- which underwent a huge update in the 1970s -- is still a stately maroon with red edging and of course the royal coat of arms. It's the interior that's seen the most change and it's not as fancy as you might think.
Here's what we can tell from looking at snaps from Prince Charles' five day tour of the UK in 2010. The royal carriages -- there are nine in total -- were sparsely furnished in neutral tones of light green and blue.
Gone are the days of plush carpets, luxurious cushions and crystal glasses but don't worry we'll get to that soon. These days the royals keep things simple, un-fussy and practical. Not dissimilar to the Queen herself.
Here's an insider tip: they'll depart London in the evening and spend the night aboard the train before arriving at their destination the next morning.
The sleeping carriages are said to be just as pared-back as the others and feature a single bed, a side and dressing table and not much else.
While the duchess might not be familiar with this particular mode of travel the Queen is no stranger to train journeys. In fact she's said to relish the seclusion and solitude. The monarch even has her own private study so she can continue to work on the go.
For old time's sake let's look back to the glory days of royal train travel. As with many modern royal traditions Queen Victoria was a pioneer. She made her first journey by train in 1842, from Windsor to London.
Train travel was faster and far more comfortable than other means, and as such the royals went a bit OTT with their interior decorating. For them the royal train was a mini home away from home. Talk about luxe.
Queen Elizabeth II continued the train travel tradition as a young princess and after she was crowned. She and Prince Philip even spent time on the train during their honeymoon in 1947.
Despite having lost some of its grandeur from yesteryear we reckon the Queen Elizabeth and her new granddaughter-in-law Meghan will find the royal train perfectly comfortable for their four-hour journey. We only wish we could score ourselves a ticket.
Feature image: Getty.