The British family’s royal trains have gotten monarchs to the places they need to be in style through the years.
On Sunday night, Prince William and his wife, the former Kate Middleton, departed on a three-day royal train tour of England, Scotland and Wales. The purpose is to celebrate communities across the U.K. that have persevered during the coronavirus pandemic.
The Kensington Palace Twitter account shared a video of the exterior of the train as the duke and duchess boarded it on Sunday.
The train includes a dining car that seats up to 12 people, a kitchen and sleeping accommodations.
There’s even a working office for the queen to get things done while she’s traveling. According to Anthony Coulls, senior curator of rail transport and technology at the National Railway Museum in the U.K., it even has its own letter box with a unique post mark.
“(The train) is used between 10-20 times a year by the queen and Prince Charles, who very much enjoys rail travel,” Coulls told TODAY Home.
It seems members of the royal family have long loved using trains to get around. The first royal to travel by train was Queen Adelaide in 1840. “Her carriage is in the museum and not much more than a couple of stage coaches on a single underframe,” Coulls said.
But Queen Victoria, who traveled by train for the first time the following year, had specially designed carriages that were decorated with plush tufted furniture, rich blue curtains and elaborate light fixtures.
She knew exactly what she wanted, both in terms of decor and usage. Since she preferred to use the restroom at the stations, many built grand toilets just in case she stopped by.
Coulls also shared that Queen Victoria, who made more than 100 rail journeys during her reign, insisted that the train travel at 40 mph in the day and 30 mph at night.
She also didn’t eat while it was moving. “She would either stop and have a meal in a station, where a hastily fitted screen might separate her from other passengers, or the train would stop at a station and food be passed through the window in a hamper,” he explained. “All trains around her would stop until they were back on the move again.”
Queen Elizabeth II’s first train was actually the one Queen Mary used. Coulls described it as a small Royal residence inside with "quality furnishings, nice fittings and furniture and everything you would want."
“The carriage only came out of service as it was unable to travel fast enough to keep up with the high speed railways of the UK in the 1970s,” he said.
If you happen to be in London anytime soon, you can check out the Royal Carriages exhibition at the Railway Museum, open daily. Visit the website to find out more information.