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 …..in 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.
When your train comes into London at the same time as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to Euston station: pic.twitter.com/2jpJhH7Muw
— Zarah Sultana MP (@zarahsultana) December 6, 2020
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.
👋The Duke and Duchess are off!
This evening, The Duke and Duchess departed on the #RoyalTrainTour to pay tribute to the inspiring work of those who have gone above and beyond to support communities across England, Scotland, and Wales.
— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) December 7, 2020
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.
It’s the first time William & Kate have been aboard the Royal Train 🚂 and the #royaltraintour promises to be a fun whistle-stop tour of the three nations 🏴🏴🏴when everyone could use a bit of Christmas cheer 🌲 pic.twitter.com/6N2lrXpN01
— Emily Andrews (@byEmilyAndrews) December 5, 2020
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.
Kate brought back her Ralph Lauren Collection suede boots.
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.