On the 13th June 1842, Queen Victoria travelled by train from Slough to Paddington on the Great Western Railway, the first train journey ever taken by a British monarch.
On the 13th June 2017, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II took the same journey, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, in celebration of the 175th anniversary of this momentous occasion.
Describing the journey in her journal, Queen Victoria had cited, “It was delightful and so quick. It took us exactly 30 minutes going to Paddington, & the motion was very slight, & much easier than a carriage, also no dust or great heat.”
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh were accompanied by Isambard Thomas and Gillian White, who are direct descendants of Queen Victoria’s company on her first train journey, Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Sir Daniel Gooch.
Before recreating the journey, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II took the time to visit the original waiting room at Slough, which had been used in the past by her great-great-grandmother. Here, she was warmly greeted by school children from the local area, all of whom wielded the Union Jack in celebration of the British monarch.
Speaking to the BBC, Mark Hopwood, managing director of Great Western Railway, was elated that the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh had made the decision to recreate this iconic journey. He commented, “We are extremely proud of our heritage and this occasion marks a very special moment in the history of the Great Western Railway.”
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