Let us take you on a journey through time as we explore Her Majesty The Queen’s involvement with the organisation throughout her life.
The Queen’s first journey
On 15 May 1939, the then Princess Elizabeth took her first Tube trip when she was 13 years old. She travelled with her sister Princess Margaret Rose, lady-in-waiting and their governess. They travelled from St. James’s Park to Tottenham Court Road and back. The journey was apparently part of a new plan for their education. In later years, the Queen would say that she had ‘vivid memories of an Underground journey which my sister and I made as children.’
Victoria line opening
The Victoria line was named after Queen Victoria. Her Majesty started the first train at the formal opening on 7 March 1969. Her Majesty was the first reigning monarch to travel on the London Underground. The picture of The Royal visit below was widely seen in the UK and around the world. Her Majesty described the ‘burrowing underneath the Mall’ for the Victoria line tunnels as being ‘almost a domestic undertaking’ so far as her and her family were concerned.
Piccadilly Underground extension to Heathrow
On 16 December 1977, Her Majesty opened the new £30m Piccadilly line extension. This gave Heathrow Airport its first direct rail link with central London. The then Rail Operating Chief, Graeme Bruce reported that Her Majesty ‘was particularly interested in the train equipment and the concrete tunnel linings.’
Docklands Light Railway (DLR) opening
Her Majesty the Queen formally opened the DLR – London’s first completely new surface railway – on 30 July 1987. This driverless light railway was considered a novelty at that time. The winner of the Underground in Bloom competition presented Her Majesty with a bouquet that included foliage from the station, Eastcote.
Visit to Uxbridge station
In June 2002, Her Majesty the Queen visited Uxbridge to thank London Underground staff. The staff at Uxbridge represented all London Underground staff who had helped to run the Tube through the night over the Bank Holiday Jubilee weekend celebrations. 👋🏻
Visit to Aldgate Tube station
Her Majesty stopped in at Aldgate Tube station in February 2010, as part of a tour of working locations in London. London Underground staff met and spoke with Her Majesty the Queen. Station staff presented Her Majesty with a custom-made Buckingham Palace roundel. Transport officials who were on duty during the 7/7 London terrorist bombings in 2005 also met with Her Majesty the Queen.
150th anniversary of London Underground
On 20 March 2013, Her Majesty marked the 150th anniversary of the first Tube journey at Baker Street station. The then Duke of Edinburgh and the Duchess of Cambridge joined Her Majesty. The Duchess of Cambridge was five months pregnant so was presented with a Baby on board badge.🤰🏻
The naming of the Elizabeth line
On 23 February 2016, Her Majesty appeared at the under-construction Crossrail station at Bond Street. It was here that the then Mayor Boris Johnson MP announced the naming of the Elizabeth line in Her Majesty’s honour. Her Majesty was also presented with a commemorative Elizabeth roundel and met a wide range of people involved in the construction of Crossrail.
Elizabeth line opening
Her Majesty officially opened the new railway at Paddington Elizabeth line station ahead of its opening to passengers on Tuesday 24 May 2022. She was also given an Oyster card and shown how to use it on a ticket machine. 🎉
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