The surprisingly low-key interiors of the Queen's train

As the Queen and Meghan, the new Duchess of Sussex, take the train to Merseyside for their first official engagement alone together, we're fascinated by the simple interiors of the royal train


14 Jun 2018

Queen Elizabeth II is greeted with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex as they arrive by Royal Train at Runcorn Station

Peter Byrne - WPA Pool/Getty Images

It's an exciting day for royal family watchers, as the Queen takes Meghan, the new Duchess of Sussex, on a trip to Merseyside. The trip is being widely read as a sign of the Queen's approval and desire to integrate Meghan into the royal family as quickly as possible. It's undeniably lovely to see the old and new guard taking on official engagements together, but we have to admit our interest is veering in the direction of the Queen's stylish travelling arrangements on the exclusive royal train.

Queen Elizabeth disembarks from the royal train in June 2017 on a trip to mark the 175th anniversary of the first rail journey by a monarch

REX/Shutterstock

The Queen and the Duchess of Sussex on their trip to Cheshire

Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock

The Queen and Meghan travelled overnight on the royal train from London to Runcorn, emerging first thing in the morning for a full day of engagements, including opening the Mersey Gate Bridge, meeting Syrian refugees and visiting Storyhouse, a new arts venue in Chester. The current royal train was created in 1977 to celebrate the Silver Jubilee and consists of nine carriages, specially fitted for the royal family's use.

Getty
Getty

Queen Victoria was the first British royal to have an entire train for her own use, which co-existed with royal saloon carriages provided by the various train companies of the UK. While 19th-century royal trains were the height of luxury, however, the modern version is decidedly low-key, with spacious, efficient carriages decorated in clean and simple blue and white. Nonetheless, as anyone who has travelled by train in the UK can understand, the mere idea of having a private train is enough to inspire us with serious envy.