According to the London papers, few seemed to notice the older woman boarding the 10.45am train from King’s Cross train station yesterday.
But the first-class passenger traveling to Norfolk, who did seem vaguely familiar, was, in fact, the Queen of England, setting off on her Christmas break to Sandringham. Her Majesty, 83, paid £44.40 (about $72) for her off-peak single ticket. For the record, she currently has an annual salary of £7.9 million (over $12 million).
We know that her son, Prince Charles, traveled to Copenhagen in an outrageous jet (like so many elites) so perhaps the Queen was trying to show up his green and frugal cred a bit by making the 100 mile trip by public transport.
Officials did ensure that no one else sat in the Queen’s 12-seat compartment, although they insisted it would have been opened up to passengers if the other first-class compartment had been crowded.
Passenger Gemma Birrell, 16, said: “I didn’t recognize her straight away and thought it might be a B-list celebrity.”
For the record, as a Brit myself, I really wanted to call this post “QE2 Takes the Train”.