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The Duke & Duchess Launch Mini-Tour Aboard the Royal Train

Tonight the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge started their mini-tour of the UK aboard the Royal Train, a trip announced last night via social media. Over the next two days, they will visit nine locations in England, Scotland, and Wales.

Kensington Palace reports the couple wants to “pay tribute to the incredible work of individuals and organizations that have gone above and beyond in response to the coronavirus pandemic.”  The royals boarded the train at London’s Euston Station this evening.

More from Simon Perry’s People article

Over the next few days, ending on Tuesday, William and Kate will meet frontline workers, volunteers, care home staff, teachers, schoolchildren and young people and pay tribute to people … local communities during the coronavirus pandemic this year.

And from Camilla Tominey’s column in The Telegraph

The decision to take their first ever journey aboard the Royal Train came after discussions with aides about how to highlight the impact of public generosity during the Covid pandemic.  Following the huge success of Clap for Carers earlier in the crisis, both William and Kate expressed a desire to pay tribute to those who have gone “above and beyond” this year.

The whistle-stop trip…. will take in cities including Edinburgh, Manchester and Cardiff, comes after a year of cancelled royal events and overseas tours. Ordinarily, the couple would have undertaken both a spring and autumn visit abroad but, like the rest of the Royals, have been “grounded” by coronavirus.

According to one well-placed source, lockdown has taught the couple not only the value of the Royals in times of crisis but also the importance of their power to be agents of the nation’s gratitude. 

Below, a video tweeted by MP Zarah Sultana, who happened to be at the station when the couple was listening to Welsh singer/songwriter Shakin’ Stevens

 And from The Daily Mail’s Rebecca English

It was a royal departure like no other and even featured a special performance from 80s pop star Shakin’ Stevens who performed his perennial festive favourite, ‘Merry Christmas Everyone’ for transport workers at the station.

Stevens, 72, said he was ‘over the moon’ to be playing for the Duke and Duchess, revealing that it was the first time he had played for royalty in his long career.

‘I’m loving it, it was lovely to be invited,’ he said. ‘And it was them who chose the song. Over the moon.’

Victoria Ward of The Telegraph shared a photo of the performance

The couple applauding.

The Duke and Duchess spent time speaking with transport workers while at the station. 

From Emily Nash’s Hello piece:

On behalf of the nation, they passed on their thanks for everything they have done to keep trains in London running and the measures taken to ensure passengers could travel safely with confidence. 

The Duke told Alero Abbey, TfL area manager for Green Park and Euston: “It’s moments like this when people really appreciate what you do every day. Suddenly we all know what you do and that you do a really good job.”

Rebecca English reports that “a series of ‘fun’ surprises have been organised at each of the couple’s stops as they celebrate community spirit and demonstrate the impact of the public’s generosity this year, by showcasing organisations and initiatives that have been supported by community relief funds, including NHS Charities Together.”

The train this evening.

While Prince William has traveled on the train several times, this will be the Duchess’s first official trip on it.  Below, the Duke and Duchess boarding tonight at the station.

A quick video from Kensington Palace. 

 A wider shot of the train, this one from June 2018.

More from The Daily Mirror

The Royal Train has been used by Monarchs since Queen Victoria, and while it used to be just as plush as you would expect, with bright velvet sofas and cushions, it’s now far more low key with simple decor and furniture.

The train has bedrooms, bathrooms, a sitting room and a large dining room, and there is also an office where the Queen works during her travels.

Here you see HM stepping off the train when arriving at Plymouth Railway Station for a March 2015 visit. 

The royal crests.

The train reportedly runs on environmentally friendly bio-fuel that is manufactured from used cooking oil. Additional insight on the train comes via this BBC piece

  • Queen Victoria was the first monarch to use the royal train, traveling from Slough to Paddington station on 13 June 1842, with Isambard Kingdom Brunel riding on the footplate. In her diary, the 23-year-old queen described the 25-minute journey as “delightful and so quick”
  • The present train has nine carriages and came into service for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, in 1977. It includes private carriages for the Queen and the Prince of Wales
  • The train is described as more functional than palatial, with one royal aide suggesting it has bathroom fixtures “you could find in Homebase or B&Q.” 

Emily Andrews of The Daily Mail shared photos of the interior via Twitter. 

Below, the Duke of Edinburgh waves as the train leaves Edinburgh’s Waverley Station in September 2015.

The couple’s final stop on Tuesday will be to see HM, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales, and Duchess of Cornwall. 

Now for our look at what Kate wore this evening. 

She was in a dark green bespoke coat by Alexander McQueen she has worn previously. The structured piece features a high collar, fitted bodice with multiple darts and flap pockets, exposed seams with topstitching detail, waistband, concealed placket, diagonal besom pockets at the hip, and princess seams on the back of the bodice.  

The coat was first worn for a visit to Bradford in January of this year, then seen again in Galway this March.

The Duchess carried her Grace Han Love Letter Top-Handled Bag ($2144) this evening, which we first saw at the Hold Still community launch in October

Kate brought back her Ralph Lauren Collection suede boots.

Kate’s gloves look like her ‘Alice’ merino wool pair ($137) with the velvet side bow, made by glovemaker (and royal warrant holder) Cornelia James

And also repeated her Maple Leaf Tartan scarf, an item first noted during the 2016 Canada tour.

The piece is by York Scarves. It measures 31″ x 71″ (about 180cm x 80cm) and it is 100% cotton.  Here is a closer look from the Canada visit.

I believe she had on a pair of Cornelia James gloves, but I am still looking through photos for more detailed shots.   

The Duchess wore her hair down. 

Her face mask is another Amaia Kids style ($15) in a Liberty of London print.  It is shown as sold out, but Amaia has been very good at restocking the masks. 

We were able to see Kate’s earrings better in tonight’s photos. 

From most angles, they look like the much-debated Pearl Rope Drop Earrings by Accessorize. In this montage, it looks like the earrings Kate has on are slightly bigger than those on the model. So I’m still somewhat on the fence. 

We’ll see you tomorrow for the day’s activities!  

We’ll leave you Shakin’ Stevens performing Merry Christmas, Everyone



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Dixie Lee

Thursday 10th of December 2020

Here in the US that song has never been popular - I've never heard it before and I am pretty much of a Christmas music expert - but I love it!

And I loved the scarf, too.


Tuesday 8th of December 2020

I wasn’t a huge fan of this coat the first time Kate wore it- I thought it was too dull a green, washed Kate out and looked boring with the gray dress. With the scarf, though, it is perfection! The “maple tartan” hues of red, gold and green scarf brings out Kate’s coloring and the green of the coat very well, and is a nice nod to Canada. I love the collar, the tailoring, and the color of the coat this time around. It has been fun to see so many coats re-worn and re-styled for this quick tour.


Monday 7th of December 2020

I have never been a fan of this coat. I think it’s too long, I don’t like the shade of green and I don’t like the pocket flaps. I love those boots ! Do we know the exact style ? I think the tartan scarf helps mask the pocket flaps on the coat.

Mary H

Monday 7th of December 2020

What a delightfully cozy thing it would be to be on this train adventure!

It's interesting how the shade of Catherine's coat seems to change depending on lighting and how it's accessorized. I love this look for the kick-off of the train tour. The color palate is perfect both for the holidays and for their destinations. A perfect start.


Monday 7th of December 2020

Love the coat and the matching scarf ! Maybe the earrings are this model ? "SIMONE ROCHA Faux-pearl curb-chain earrings" ( pearls look bigger than in the Accessorize earrings) Have a nice day :-)

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