MEGHAN Markle is to ditch Prince Harry for the first time to do a royal engagement - and will be even have a sleepover with the Queen.

The royal pair will set off today and spend the night on the luxury Royal Train as they travel to Cheshire for Thursday morning, according to The Sun.

 

New bride Meghan Markle will get to spend some quality time with the Queen. Picture: AFP Photo / Jonathan Brady
New bride Meghan Markle will get to spend some quality time with the Queen. Picture: AFP Photo / Jonathan Brady

The swish Royal Train has nine carriages and Meghan will stay in one of the ensuite bedrooms, and dine in the 12-seater dining room.

The trip is a huge honour for Meghan as it is understood that even Prince Harry and Kate Middleton have not had a ride on-board.

Typically a London to Runcorn train journey takes around two hours, but the prestige sleeper train travels a lot slower than the high-speed alternatives.

The pair have opted for the Royal Train as the Queen is said to prefer making long-distance journeys overnight, instead of waking up early morning.

Meghan will get plenty of quality time with her new grandmother-in-law, before officially opening the Mersey Gateway Bridge in Widnes and the Storyhouse cultural centre in Chester.

Queen Elizabeth II works at her desk on the Royal Train in May 2002. Picture: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images
Queen Elizabeth II works at her desk on the Royal Train in May 2002. Picture: Anwar Hussein/Getty Images

The royal pair will watch a performance by a dance company called Fallen Angels, which runs for recovering addicts.

Next on the agenda is a medley of songs from the Storyhouse's latest production A Little Night Music, and then they will see local schoolkids perform songs with actors from Swallows and Amazons.

They will also enjoy a slap-up lunch at Chester Town Hall to conclude their outing together.

The historic Royal Train launched in 1942 when Queen Victoria was on the throne and even puts the Orient Express to shame with its stunning smoking room with ornate gold fittings.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip on the royal train at Central Railway Station, Sydney. Picture: NSW State Records
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip on the royal train at Central Railway Station, Sydney. Picture: NSW State Records

Described as "Buckingham Palace on wheels", the sumptuous train was brought into service because Victoria disliked travelling by coach.

Since then the Royal family have used it for extended holidays around the country, and they travel in style - as do their staff.

The Queen's day quarters were updated in 1977, before Queen Elizabeth embarked on the Silver Jubilee Tour, and the old one, was given to the National Railway Museum.

Prince Charles and Princess Diana aboard the special state coach Royal Train en route to Ballarat, Victoria. Picture: Supplied
Prince Charles and Princess Diana aboard the special state coach Royal Train en route to Ballarat, Victoria. Picture: Supplied

Meals are cooked by a full kitchen staff to the standard expected in the royal palaces and there's a roster of 150 special drivers who are allowed to take the controls.

The Queen's private quarters are 75ft long, with plush carpet, paintings of Scottish landscapes and air suspension to ensure Her Majesty has a smooth ride.

There are no double beds on board, and Meghan will spend the night on a 3ft-wide bed that is clad in cotton sheets and woollen blankets.

In 2017, the royals travelled on the Royal Train 14 times, which cost the taxpayer around £900,000 ($1.6 million).

 

 

This article first appeared in The Sun and is republished with permission.


Business success buoys Emerald property market

Business success buoys Emerald property market

Real estate agent is seeing confidence back in Central Queensland.

Rallying against cancer

Rallying against cancer

An Emerald couple are set for the adventure of a lifetime.

School proud to give to drought appeal

School proud to give to drought appeal

Bluff State School have jumped on board the drought appeal.

Local Partners