There’s been a lot of new things happening in Meghan Markle’s life recently. She left her acting career in America, married a prince, and gained the Queen as her grandmother. You know, the usual.
Following the royal wedding on May 19, Meghan has been adjusting to all walks of royal life. She’s even scheduled to have her ‘balcony’ moment with Harry this weekend, after the couple missed out having the iconic kiss due to Windsor Castle’s lack of a balcony.
Meghan is undoubtedly going to have to do a lot of new things in her new role as the Duchess of Sussex, but the Queen has recently invited Meghan to do something that no young royal has ever done before.
The Duchess of Sussex is set to visit Cheshire next week with the Queen for a day of royal engagements on Thursday. While attending royal engagements isn’t limited to senior royals, the mode of transport Meghan and the Queen are using to get there is, Hello! reports.
The monarch’s personal train is usually reserved for use only by Prince Philip, Prince Charles, the Duchess of Cornwall and their staff. However, the Queen has invited the newest member of the royal family onboard for their trip together next week.
It’s believed Prince William has only been on it once, for his birthday tour in 2003, while Harry and Kate Middleton aren’t thought to have ever ridden the royal train in an official capacity.
Described as Buckingham Palace on wheels, the Queen’s train isn’t something you might expect to come across in your local station. It’s only used a handful of times a year, probably due to its costly running price. In 2017, the train was used only 14 times, but cost the taxpayer £900,000. So about the same as it costs for a same day long distance ticket these days.
The train was first used by Queen Victoria in 1842, and comes equipped with a dining room to seat 12, grand smoking rooms, and bedrooms with en-suites.
Meghan and the Queen will travel on the train to Cheshire where they are due to open the Mersey Gateway Bridge and the Storyhouse Theatre before heading to lunch at Chester town hall.
The journey to Cheshire on the royal train is not the only first Meghan will have on Thursday, as her trip marks the first time she will carry out official royal duties without Prince Harry, and her first time she’ll do them with the Queen alone.
I hope Meghan is well adjusted to royal conversation by now; there’s only so much time she could fill on the train with small talk about the weather.
Other members of the royal family will join Meghan and the Queen this weekend at Buckingham Palace for Trooping the Colour, to celebrate the Queen’s official birthday.
The event will be the first official engagement for Meghan and Harry following their honeymoon, and will be the first time Meghan joins the rest of the royal family on the palace’s balcony.
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.