16 photos of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visiting TfL

Princess Elizabeth travelling on the Tube for the first time

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.’

Princess Elizabeth travelling on the Tube for the first time

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.

The Queen taking a tube ride on the Victoria line
The queen in the cab for the Victoria line opening
The Queen exits the escalators at Oxford Circus station

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.’

The Queen riding in the cab for the Piccadilly line extension
The Queen receiving a souvenir book after unveiling the plaque

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.

The Queen riding in the front of a DLR train
The Queen meeting DLR staff during the opening ceremony
The Queen visiting the control centre at poplar

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. 👋🏻

The Queen thanking London Underground staff at Uxbridge

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 Queen visits Aldgate tube station as part of a tour

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.

The Queen visits the under construction Crossrail station at Bond Street
The Queen unveiling a plaque at Bond Street station

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. 🎉

The Queen visits an Elizabeth line station for the opening and tours station
The Queen receives flowers at Elizabeth line station opening

Explore the TfL Corporate Archives

Share your memories

Post a comment to let others know your favourite memories of Her Majesty and London.

Share your thoughts