What Is The Royal Train, When Is Meghan Markle Joining The Queen On Board The Sleeper Train And What Is It Used For?


THE Queen is the only person in the UK who doesn’t need a driving license but that doesn’t stop her from getting behind the wheel.

When Her Majesty isn’t driving or being flown, one’s personal train can come in handy. Here’s what we know about the royal express…

Getty – Pool The Queen inside her private quarters on board the Royal Train

What is the Royal Train?

The locomotive is a comfortable and exclusive method of transportation reserved for select members of the royal family.

It first came into use in 1842 under Queen Victoria – who was the first monarch to ride a train – and is composed of nine carriages.

Only the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla are permitted to use the train.

Each carriage has a different function, and their order is rearranged as necessary.

It is rare all nine carriages are used at once, only when The Duke of Edinburgh, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall accompany the Queen on a trip.

Getty Images – Getty Meghan will be the first non-senior role invited onto the train

Most of the carriages date back to 1977, when they were used for the Silver Jubilee tours, and are instantly recognisable from the ‘royal claret’ colour.

The carriages feature smoking rooms, a 12-seater dining room, and private carriages for each of the royals.

The Queen’s bathroom even has a full sized tub, and the schedule ensures they do not go around any sharp bends while she relaxes in the suds.

Prince Philip is said to use it as a mobile office, while the nonagenarian is rumoured to be a great fan of the train.

But despite its lavish exterior, it is said to be fairly modest inside.

In 2002, Director of royal travel Tim Hewlett was quoted by the BBC saying: “There is a perception the train is a bit like the Orient Express.

“But there are not many bathroom furnishings you could not get in Homebase or B&Q.”

Getty – Pool The train features sleeping quarters, smoking rooms and even a 12-seater dining room

When will Meghan Markle join the Queen on board?

The new Duchess of Sussex will join the Queen on a visit to Cheshire on Thursday June 13.

It will mark the newlywed’s first solo royal engagement with the Queen – something Kate Middleton is yet to be offered.

And it will be the first time a non-senior royal was invited onto the train, again something The Duchess of Cambridge is yet to be invited on.

Meghan and her new mother-in-law will take the train up north, where they will open the Mersey Gateway Bridge before opening the Storeyhouse Theatre.

The pair will then dine at Chester Town Hall.

The first engagement Kate Middleton attended alone with the Queen was nearly a year into her marriage to Prince William.

In 2012 they attended Fortnum and Mason together to mark the restaurant’s renovation, although the Duchess of Cornwall was also there, meaning it was not technically a solo event for the Queen and Kate.

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