“TRAINING OF MEGHAN” by Desmond Kelly

“TRAINING OF MEGHAN”

by Desmond Kelly

 

 The newest member of Britain’s Royal Family, for the 1st time, an American ” beauty rose” instead of an English one, has been “accepted” by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the 2nd, after marrying one of her favourite grandsons, Prince Harold, better known as “Harry”, 2nd “bluey”(in Aussie terms), to the heir of the British throne. Meghan, just like her famous Grand-dad, Prince Charles’ beautiful ex-wife Diana (God rest her soul), will have to learn many lessons on Royal protocol, and riding on the Royal train, with her “grand- mother-in-law” is simply one of them.

     In writing this introduction, I cannot help but remember the old “kuchu-kuchus” of Ceylon’s C.G.R., plus the old “red- rattlers” of old Melbourne town, which, believe it or not, had air-conditioning. If you wanted to be cool, you simply wound the old windows down, as you were “shaken before taken” anywhere.

     The Royal Train is somewhat different. To all my eLanka readers everywhere, if you thought that travelling 1st class was the ultimate luxury, think again. This very special lady,(God save the Queen), shows us how to “travel in style”

Meghan Windsor (nee Markle) has nothing to worry about.

Please watch the “TRAINING OF MEGHAN” for what it is worth, and, for very interesting facts, it is worth plenty.

 

Inside the royal train where Meghan will join the Queen for a sleepover this evening (but it’s not as glam as it used to be!)

 

·         Duchess of Sussex to ride on the royal train with head of state for the first time this evening 

·         She will spend the night on the locomotive before joining Her Majesty in Cheshire tomorrow  

·         Here we take a look inside the 150-year-old train from the past to the present 

 

 

The Duchess of Sussex is joining the Queen on board the Royal Train this evening for their overnight journey to Cheshire.

Meghan, who is performing her first engagement without Prince Harry tomorrow, is leaving her husband for the first time since their wedding in May.   

The monarch has invited Meghan to accompany her for a day of engagements on Thursday and MailOnline understands that, given the distances involved, the train will set off on Wednesday, arriving at Runcorn Station on Thursday morning. 

While the Queen always tends to make long distance journeys on her train overnight, it will be quite the eye-opener for her new grand-daughter-in-law.

The locomotive consists of nine carriages in total, however, these are often reduced to seven depending on the number of people travelling, and Her Majesty is said to described it as one of the few places where she can relax in total privacy.

At over 150 years old it is the only private, non-commercial train service catering to one family still in operation in the UK and these photos offer a rare glimpse into Britain’s most exclusive railway service. 

Much of the nine-carriage train currently in service dates back to 1977 when it was extensively used during the Silver Jubilee tours and while a novel experience, it is terribly dated and not entirely luxurious. 

In fact, photographs of inside the train show how it is now a lot more functional, in contrast to the plush interiors that it used to boast in its glamorous heyday.

This comes after criticism over the expense of the royal train, which cost taxpayers £900,000 in 2016. 

 

 

Royal sleepover! Meghan will stay on board the Royal train (pictured) this evening alongside the monarch who has invited Meghan to accompany her for a day of engagements on Thursday

 

The pair, who were last seen together at Trooping of the colour, set off this evening arriving at Runcorn Station on Thursday morning

Her Majesty’s personal saloon is 75ft long and fitted with secondary air suspension giving passengers an exceptionally smooth and comfortable ride.

It has a bedroom, decorated in light pastel shades, with a 3ft-wide single bed in one corner (there are no double beds on the Royal Train) made up with cotton sheets and woollen blankets. 

While Prince Philip’s pillows are plain, the Queen’s are trimmed with lace, with a small Royal cipher in one corner. The ceiling has subdued strip lighting and there are several reading lamps near the bed.

The adjoining bathroom has a full-size bath, but the fittings are modest and functional. 

Photographs of inside the train show how the decor is a lot more functional now.  Pictured are chairs situated in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Carriage aboard the royal train, featuring a neutral colour scheme

 

The table is set in the dining room in this photo, taken back in 2006, and shows that the train has received a simpler makeover through the years

 

In fact, the train used to look a lot more glamorous in its heyday. Pictured: The royal carriage built in 1869 for Queen Victoria (1819-1901) by the London and North Western Railway at their Wolverton Works in Buckinghamshire

The train operators make sure the carriages are not crossing any bumpy points just after 7.30am: that could make the water slop around when the Queen is taking her bath. The train’s speed is always lower than the normal maximum for any route.

The sitting room has a sofa with hand-stitched velvet cushions, armchairs and the small dining table where the Queen and Prince Philip have breakfast. 

The table can be extended to seat six people. There is also a desk in one corner where Her Majesty works on her official papers.

Although she has enjoyed several meetings with the Queen and spent time with her at Windsor Castle, the overnight journey will be unprecedented for Meghan.

A photo of the Prince of Wales’s Lounge on the royal train, taken in 2001, demonstrates how the train has been updated to reflect changing tastes and trends

 

Staff accommodation aboard the train features a single bed and several illustrations to brighten up the interior

 

The train also features an office for Her Majesty (pictured in 2002) to conduct her work while travelling 

How Old is the Royal Train?

At over 150 years old, the Royal Train is the only private, non-commercial train service catering to one family still in operation in the UK.

The train came into existence during the reign of Queen Victoria who was the first reigning sovereign to make a train journey when she travelled from Slough to Paddington, London, on June 13, 1842.

In 1869 she commissioned a special pair of coaches at a cost of £1,800: a considerable sum in those days. Victoria remains to this day the only monarch to have paid with her own money for Royal carriages to be built.

When her son succeeded to the throne as Edward VII, he ordered a completely new Royal Train in the second year of his reign, 1902, with the instructions that ‘it is to be as much like the Royal Yacht as possible’.

The interior had bedrooms, dressing rooms, day rooms and a smoking room. It boasted three-speed electric fans, electric radiators and cookers and even an electric cigar lighter.

The King’s favourite was his smoking room, which was manned by two liveried footmen, one just to light His Majesty’s cigars and the other to adjust the curtains and windows in case the sunlight was too strong, or fresh air was required.

His son and successor, George V, had the distinction of installing the first bath on a train anywhere in the world.

While Queen Victoria’s was the first train in the world to have a lavatory installed on board – in 1850, at the suggestion of Prince Albert – only the Prince Consort used it in the early days of Royal progress. 

Members of the entourage who invariably accompanied the Queen had to wait until the train stopped and then use public lavatories.

While the train is fitted with several sleeper carriages the locomotive never travels through the night, instead making stops at secret locations away from the mainline so that the royal passengers can sleep uninterrupted.

The overnight stops are usually made about an hour’s travelling time from the final destination. 

This means the Royals are able to rise, bathe, dress, have a leisurely breakfast and then be briefed by their private secretary on the day’s programme as the train completes its journey. Arrivals are usually timed so that they do not disrupt any normal rail schedules.

The appearance of the Queen’s current saloon is a long way from the velvet interiors and plush furnishings of carriages of the Victorian era.

Today the carriages are fitted with far simpler furnishings with a light wood cladding and each window fitted with a pair of drapes to ensure the utmost privacy. 

It will provide the queen for a chance to spend some ‘quality time’ with Harry’s new bride, with relatively few interruptions. 

In 2016 royals travelled on the distinctive liveried train just 14 times at a cost of £900,000 to taxpayers.

Buckingham Palace officials admit it is expensive, but say the Queen, 92, finds it more comfortable to use on overnight on long-distance journeys.

The train came into existence during the reign of Queen Victoria who was the first reigning sovereign to make a train journey when she travelled from Slough to Paddington, London, on June 13, 1842.

In 1869 she commissioned a special pair of coaches at a cost of £1,800: a considerable sum in those days. Victoria remains to this day the only monarch to have paid with her own money for Royal carriages to be built.

When her son succeeded to the throne as Edward VII, he ordered a completely new Royal Train in the second year of his reign, 1902, with the instructions that ‘it is to be as much like the Royal Yacht as possible’.  

The interior had bedrooms, dressing rooms, day rooms and a smoking room. It boasted three-speed electric fans, electric radiators and cookers and even an electric cigar lighter.

Photographs show how the train looked much more luxurious back in the day. This royal carriage was built for Edward VII by London and North Western Railway and was known as the smoking carriage where the family would retire after dinner 

 

While the train is fitted with several sleeper carriages the locomotive never travels through the night, instead making stops at secret locations away from the mainline so that the royal passengers can sleep uninterrupted. Pictured: Edward VII’s sleeper from back in the day

 

This picture shows how the train’s decor has changed over the years. The Royal Saloon built by East Coast Joint Stock built in 1908 and used by Edward VII (1841-1910) and later Queen Mary (1867-1953) features elaborate decoration and a writing desk

 

Previously, the dining car (picture taken in 1966) once featured elaborate wood paneling and the table is impeccably laid out ahead of the royal’s dinner  

The King’s favourite was his smoking room, which was manned by two liveried footmen, one just to light His Majesty’s cigars and the other to adjust the curtains and windows in case the sunlight was too strong, or fresh air was required.

His son and successor, George V, had the distinction of installing the first bath on a train anywhere in the world.

While Queen Victoria’s was the first train in the world to have a lavatory installed on board – in 1850, at the suggestion of Prince Albert – only the Prince Consort used it in the early days of Royal progress. Members of the entourage who invariably accompanied the Queen had to wait until the train stopped and then use public lavatories.

While the train is fitted with several sleeper carriages the locomotive never travels through the night, instead making stops at secret locations away from the mainline so that the royal passengers can sleep uninterrupted.

The overnight stops are usually made about an hour’s travelling time from the final destination. This means the Royals are able to rise, bathe, dress, have a leisurely breakfast and then be briefed by their private secretary on the day’s programme as the train completes its journey. Arrivals are usually timed so that they do not disrupt any normal rail schedules.

The appearance of the Queen’s current saloon is a long way from the velvet interiors and plush furnishings of carriages of the Victorian era.

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