Duke and Duchess of Cambridge head off for royal train tour around Britain

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will meet the Queen for a heart-warming family engagement at the end of a nationwide ‘Christmas Express’ tour on the royal train, starting today.

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will also be present at Tuesday’s event, offering a show of unity from senior members of the Royal Family for people and organisations across the country who have gone ‘above and beyond’ in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

William and Kate left Euston Station on board the Royal Train tonight for the first of nine stops on their whirlwind 48 hour, 1,250-mile tour across England, Scotland and Wales first thing in the morning.

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.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will meet the Queen for a heart-warming family engagement at the end of a nationwide 'Christmas Express' tour on the royal train, starting today

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will meet the Queen for a heart-warming family engagement at the end of a nationwide 'Christmas Express' tour on the royal train, starting today

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will meet the Queen for a heart-warming family engagement at the end of a nationwide ‘Christmas Express’ tour on the royal train, starting today

William and Kate left Euston Station on board the Royal Train (pictured) tonight for the first of nine stops on their whirlwind 48 hour, 1,250-mile tour across England, Scotland and Wales first thing in the morning

William and Kate left Euston Station on board the Royal Train (pictured) tonight for the first of nine stops on their whirlwind 48 hour, 1,250-mile tour across England, Scotland and Wales first thing in the morning

William and Kate left Euston Station on board the Royal Train (pictured) tonight for the first of nine stops on their whirlwind 48 hour, 1,250-mile tour across England, Scotland and Wales first thing in the morning

William and Kate left Euston Station on board the Royal Train last night for the first of nine stops on their whirlwind 48 hour, 1,250-mile tour across England, Scotland and Wales first thing in the morning

William and Kate left Euston Station on board the Royal Train last night for the first of nine stops on their whirlwind 48 hour, 1,250-mile tour across England, Scotland and Wales first thing in the morning

William and Kate left Euston Station on board the Royal Train last night for the first of nine stops on their whirlwind 48 hour, 1,250-mile tour across England, Scotland and Wales first thing in the morning

The trip has been organised so the couple can thank frontline workers, volunteers, care home staff, teachers, schoolchildren and young people and hear about their experiences and sacrifices. Kate was seen wearing an Alexander McQueen coat and a tartan scarf.

The trip has been organised so the couple can thank frontline workers, volunteers, care home staff, teachers, schoolchildren and young people and hear about their experiences and sacrifices. Kate was seen wearing an Alexander McQueen coat and a tartan scarf.

The trip has been organised so the couple can thank frontline workers, volunteers, care home staff, teachers, schoolchildren and young people and hear about their experiences and sacrifices. Kate was seen wearing an Alexander McQueen coat and a tartan scarf.

Try the military trend like the Duchess in a coat by Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen bespoke khaki military coat

Shop the current collection at NET-A-PORTER

Buy now

The Duchess of Cambridge looked her usual chic self as she boarded the royal train at Euston Station today, turning to her ultimate favorite label for the occasion. No royal tour would be complete without at least one piece by Alexander McQueen!

Kate’s khaki coat is of course by the design house behind her iconic wedding dress, and she debuted this particular style back in January this year.

We love the military vibes of this cover-up, from the utilitarian pockets, to the high-neck collar and metallic buttons. It’s a bespoke design, so sadly isn’t available to buy, but click (right) to shop the label at NET-A-PORTER.com where there’s plenty of gems to be found.

Or shop our hand-picked selection of khaki coats that are perfect if you want to replicate Kate.

* PRICES MAY NOT BE AS ADVERTISED

The couple were serenaded by 80s pop star Shakin' Stevens, 72, as they boarded the royal train for their first UK tour with a very festive send-off. The singer said he was 'over the moon' to have his first ever performance to royalty

The couple were serenaded by 80s pop star Shakin' Stevens, 72, as they boarded the royal train for their first UK tour with a very festive send-off. The singer said he was 'over the moon' to have his first ever performance to royalty

The couple were serenaded by 80s pop star Shakin’ Stevens, 72, as they boarded the royal train for their first UK tour with a very festive send-off. The singer said he was ‘over the moon’ to have his first ever performance to royalty

The Duchess, wearing an Alexander McQueen coat and tartan scarf, tapped her foot and swayed to the music as they waved to passengers from a balcony. 

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.’

Stevens said the Cambridges were ‘certainly fans’ of his festive hit, adding: ‘They picked it!’

Before climbing aboard the royal train, the couple took time out to meet transport workers at the station to hear about their experiences of working throughout the pandemic.

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.’ 

The Duchess, wearing an Alexander McQueen coat and tartan scarf, tapped her foot and swayed to the music as they waved to passengers from a balcony

The Duchess, wearing an Alexander McQueen coat and tartan scarf, tapped her foot and swayed to the music as they waved to passengers from a balcony

The Duchess, wearing an Alexander McQueen coat and tartan scarf, tapped her foot and swayed to the music as they waved to passengers from a balcony

Before climbing aboard the royal train, the couple took time out to meet transport workers at the station to hear about their experiences of working throughout the pandemic

Before climbing aboard the royal train, the couple took time out to meet transport workers at the station to hear about their experiences of working throughout the pandemic

Before climbing aboard the royal train, the couple took time out to meet transport workers at the station to hear about their experiences of working throughout the pandemic

The Duke and Duchess applaud Shakin' Stevens as he sings Merry Christmas Everyone

The Duke and Duchess applaud Shakin' Stevens as he sings Merry Christmas Everyone

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

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

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

A source said: 'Their Royal Highnesses want to pass on the nation's sincere thanks and gratitude for all of their efforts to keep people safe and keep the country going'

A source said: 'Their Royal Highnesses want to pass on the nation's sincere thanks and gratitude for all of their efforts to keep people safe and keep the country going'

A source said: ‘Their Royal Highnesses want to pass on the nation’s sincere thanks and gratitude for all of their efforts to keep people safe and keep the country going’

After enjoying a performance by Shakin' Stevens and speaking with railway workers, the couple boarded the train on the first leg of their journey. Details of the engagements will be kept secret until the couple's arrival so as not to encourage crowds

After enjoying a performance by Shakin' Stevens and speaking with railway workers, the couple boarded the train on the first leg of their journey. Details of the engagements will be kept secret until the couple's arrival so as not to encourage crowds

After enjoying a performance by Shakin’ Stevens and speaking with railway workers, the couple boarded the train on the first leg of their journey. Details of the engagements will be kept secret until the couple’s arrival so as not to encourage crowds

Network Rail staff altered the departure boards for the occasion, changing Wolverhampton to Warmerhampton, Coventry to Coventry Carol and Northampton to Northpolehamton.

William and Kate were keen to personally pass on their thanks to Transport for London, Network Rail and train operating companies for everything they have done to keep the capital running throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The trip has been organised so the couple can thank frontline workers, volunteers, care home staff, teachers, schoolchildren and young people and hear about their experiences and sacrifices, as well as the inspirational work they have done throughout this life-changing year.

A source said: ‘Their Royal Highnesses want to pass on the nation’s sincere thanks and gratitude for all of their efforts to keep people safe and keep the country going.’

Details of the engagements will be kept secret until the couple’s arrival so as not to encourage crowds.

But 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 mini tour will end with the William and Kate meeting with the Queen, Charles and Camilla for a rare photo call together. The retired Prince Philip, 99, will not be present

The mini tour will end with the William and Kate meeting with the Queen, Charles and Camilla for a rare photo call together. The retired Prince Philip, 99, will not be present

 The mini tour will end with the William and Kate meeting with the Queen, Charles and Camilla for a rare photo call together. The retired Prince Philip, 99, will not be present

Before they departed, the couple took time out to meet transport workers at the station to hear about their experiences of working throughout the pandemic

Before they departed, the couple took time out to meet transport workers at the station to hear about their experiences of working throughout the pandemic

Before they departed, the couple took time out to meet transport workers at the station to hear about their experiences of working throughout the pandemic

Network Rail staff altered the departure boards for the occasion, changing Wolverhampton to Warmerhampton, Coventry to Coventry Carol and Northampton to Northpolehamton

Network Rail staff altered the departure boards for the occasion, changing Wolverhampton to Warmerhampton, Coventry to Coventry Carol and Northampton to Northpolehamton

Network Rail staff altered the departure boards for the occasion, changing Wolverhampton to Warmerhampton, Coventry to Coventry Carol and Northampton to Northpolehamton

Permission to travel on the nine-carriage train has to be given by the Queen personally, and she is said to be very much behind her grandson and granddaughter-in-law's 'wonderful' idea

Permission to travel on the nine-carriage train has to be given by the Queen personally, and she is said to be very much behind her grandson and granddaughter-in-law's 'wonderful' idea

Permission to travel on the nine-carriage train has to be given by the Queen personally, and she is said to be very much behind her grandson and granddaughter-in-law’s ‘wonderful’ idea

The couple also plan to showcase the UK’s arts, heritage and live performance sector, which have been decimated by Covid and the resulting lockdowns.

There will be a number of festive performances across the three days by local artists, and visits to highlight the work done by the Government’s £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund.

The mini tour will end with the William and Kate meeting with the Queen, Charles and Camilla for a rare photo call together. The retired Prince Philip, 99, will not be present.

One of the highlights of the trip will be the couple’s arrival at each stop on the Queen’s distinctive burgundy-liveried Royal Train.

Queen Victoria was the first reigning British sovereign to use the Royal Train, in June 1842.

The journey was from Slough – at that time the closest train station to Windsor Castle – to London, Paddington.

One of the highlights of the trip will be the couple's arrival at each stop on the Queen's distinctive burgundy-liveried Royal Train

One of the highlights of the trip will be the couple's arrival at each stop on the Queen's distinctive burgundy-liveried Royal Train

One of the highlights of the trip will be the couple’s arrival at each stop on the Queen’s distinctive burgundy-liveried Royal Train

Although the train looks grand from the outside, its carriage are far more spartan than anyone could imagine

Although the train looks grand from the outside, its carriage are far more spartan than anyone could imagine

Although the train looks grand from the outside, its carriage are far more spartan than anyone could imagine

Royal guests have to make do with small single beds. There are no showers - instead there are rather dated-looking 70s-style baths with a marker line to stop them being over-filled

Royal guests have to make do with small single beds. There are no showers - instead there are rather dated-looking 70s-style baths with a marker line to stop them being over-filled

Royal guests have to make do with small single beds. There are no showers – instead there are rather dated-looking 70s-style baths with a marker line to stop them being over-filled

There is, however, a 12-steamer supper car with a Formica table

There is, however, a 12-steamer supper car with a Formica table

There is, however, a 12-steamer supper car with a Formica table

Queen Victoria was the first reigning British sovereign to use the Royal Train, in June 1842. The journey was from Slough - at that time the closest train station to Windsor Castle - to London, Paddington

Queen Victoria was the first reigning British sovereign to use the Royal Train, in June 1842. The journey was from Slough - at that time the closest train station to Windsor Castle - to London, Paddington

Queen Victoria was the first reigning British sovereign to use the Royal Train, in June 1842. The journey was from Slough – at that time the closest train station to Windsor Castle – to London, Paddington

In 1977, the year of the present’s Queen’s Silver Jubilee, a single set of ‘Royal Train’ carriages was formed for the first time and has remained in service ever since.

The locomotives that power the train are capable of speeds up to 125mph, but when they are on Royal duty are restricted to 100mph.

Permission to travel on the nine-carriage train has to be given by the Queen personally, and she is said to be very much behind her grandson and granddaughter-in-law’s ‘wonderful’ idea.

Although the train looks grand from the outside, its carriage are far more spartan than anyone could imagine.

Royal guests have to make do with small single beds. There are no showers – instead there are rather dated-looking 70s-style baths with a marker line to stop them being over-filled.

There is, however, a 12-steamer supper car with a Formica table.

And it does allow the couple to travel overnight between stops, visiting as many towns and cities as possible.

A Kensington Palace said: ‘The Duke and Duchess are very much looking forward to shining a spotlight on the incredible work that has been done across the country throughout this difficult year and to sharing their gratitude on behalf of the nation for all those supporting their local communities ahead of the Christmas holidays.’ 

link

(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply