Queen Victoria’s Royal Train

In 2005 I was asked to produce a complete design survey of Queen Victoria’s Royal Saloon at the National Railway Museum in York. It was part of a project instigated by HRH The Prince of Wales to create a replica for the visitor centre in Ballater to replace a cardboard cut out.

The carriages built in 1869 are truly sumptuous. They feature a day salon, lavatory, bedroom and servants/ footman carriage.

The Queen is said to have played a huge part in the interior design. The walls are quilted royal blue moirĂ© silk, contrasting with elegantly carved bird’s-eye maple. The ceiling is quilted in white silk with gold daisy buttons. There are exquisitely carved ivory rails and pulls, deep etched glass and cast brass brackets. Pelmets deeply carved, gilded and mounted with the Royal Insignia complete the backdrop to heavily carved sofas and armchairs. Apparently the Queen mistrusted walking between the carriages when the train was moving (at no more than a stately 40mph), insisting it stop every time she wanted to move between carriages.