Meghan Markle, now known as the Duchess of Sussex, is accompanying Queen Elizabeth on an overnight journey to Cheshire. Meghan and the queen will travel on board the Royal Train.
The extravagant train was designed during Queen Victoria’s reign for a voyage taken on June 13, 1842.
Queen Elizabeth, at 92 years old, has taken the train on many occasions. Daily Mail recently reported that the officials at Buckingham Palace admit the train is expensive to run. That being said, at the queen’s age, she “finds it more comfortable to use on overnight, long-distance journeys.”
Duchess Meghan will sleep overnight on board the train alongside Queen Elizabeth who has requested Markle’s presence for a day of engagements. The monarch and Meghan Markle were last spotted together at Trooping of the Colour.
The outing, reports the Sun, is a special honor for Duchess Meghan since neither Prince Harry nor Kate Middleton has enjoyed a trip on board the train. Tomorrow’s activities will mark Meghan’s first royal engagement without her husband, Prince Harry, by her side.
Since the engagements on Thursday are a long ways away from the castle, the train will travel overnight and arrive at Runcorn Station Thursday morning. A high-speed alternative takes approximately two hours, but the royal locomotive travels much slower. Queen Elizabeth prefers this passage to rising early.
The Royal Train consists of nine carriages, but depending upon how many passengers are traveling, it can be reduced to seven. Her Majesty has described the locomotive as one of the few places she can relax in total privacy. The Royal Train is the only non-commercial service still in operation.
Her Majesty’s personal area is 75 feet long and has a secondary suspension that offers Queen Elizabeth a comfortable journey. Included is a bedroom with a single bed. The train is designed without double beds. The bathroom is functional but modest, and the train operators have been instructed to take care to reduce the speed as to not hit any bumps during the queen’s bath.
The royal duo will enjoy breakfast on the train prior to their engagements Thursday morning.
Meghan Markle and Queen Elizabeth have spent some time together at Windsor Castle since the royal wedding on May 19. Although the duchess has joined the queen for numerous meetings and engagements, the overnight voyage is uncharted territory for Meghan.
Due to the private nature of the Royal Train, the trip to Cheshire will have few interruptions and no media disruptions. The Sun reports that this trip will offer a chance for Meghan and the queen to spend some quality time together before, during, and after their engagements on Thursday when they will officially open the Mersey Gateway Bridge in Widnes and the Storyhouse cultural center in Chester.