Heritage

Take a Rare Look Inside the Royal Family's Train

It's basically Kensington Palace on wheels.
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There's a reason the royal train is described as Buckingham Palace on wheels. After all, it was designed back in 1842 in the era of Queen Victoria to serve as a royal residence when members of the family were away on tour. For almost two centuries, this form of transportation has had a reputation of being high class and high tech–and we can see why.

Royal Train


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Back before the 1840s, Queen Victoria was not a fan of traveling by coach while on tour. Enter: the royal train. This is what it looked like when it carried King George V and Queen Mary to Blackpool, as part of their tour of the North West of England.

Queen Victoria's Saloon


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When Queen Victoria first rode on the royal train in 1842 from Windsor to London, the interior of her saloon is the epitome of extravagance, from the upholstered blue walls to ornate gold accessories. Pictured above is the modern version.

King Edward's Lounge


King Edward VII commissioned a brand new set of saloons when he became king, including this office and lounge combination that he and his wife could both use as an escape.

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Smoking Room


Another addition by King Edward VII: A smoking room, complete with an Edwardian gentlemen's club-vibe thanks to the leather and wood detailing and a table with decanters of liquor at all times.

Dining Room


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Since Victoria preferred to travel by train instead of by coach, she and Edward put a lot of thought into the design of their living spaces on board, as evidenced by this room's wood detailing.

King George V's Bathroom


In 1910, King George V had his dressing room converted into the first bath on a train anywhere in Britain. Today, the Queen's bathroom features a tub, but Philip's en suite comes with a shower.

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King George V's Bedroom


King George V's bedroom was equipped with electric lights and cooling fans, after Queen Mary oversaw a major renovation of the train. Mary's bedroom was similar, except her coverlet was pink and the windows were covered with cream drapes.

Queen Elizabeth II's Saloon


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The train is comprised of nine separate carriages (a.k.a. saloons). Back in 1977, the design of the queen's saloon was created before Queen Elizabeth embarked on the Silver Jubilee Tour. It's 75-feet long, covered in plush carpet and features paintings of Scottish landscapes by Roy Penny.

Prince Philip's Saloon


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The sitting room in Philip's room is filled with chairs and a table for meetings. He also has a separate bedroom (as does the Queen), which features a 3-foot-wide bed and a private en suite.

Dining Room


Today, the dining room seats 12 people and serves as a source of entertainment for the family while they travel by train, as this form of travel usually involves multiple stops and days on a royal tour. The windows are covered to provide privacy for those dining.

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Staff Quarters


There's a roster of around 150 skilled conductors who are allowed to drive the train and there's always a full kitchen staff on duty, as the chef is expected to keep up with the same standard of food in any of the royal palaces. While traveling with the royal family, the team stays in these light and airy bedrooms.

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From: House Beautiful US

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Lauren Smith
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