Her Majesty The Queen made a surprise visit to Paddington Station in London on Tuesday to mark the completion of the delayed Elizabeth Line which opens to the public on Tuesday 24th May. The Queen was accompanied by her youngest child, The Earl of Wessex.
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This was The Queen’s first public engagement outside of the Windsor area since attending a memorial to her husband, The Duke of Edinburgh, at Westminster Abbey back in March and though the line was named after her, there was no expectation that The Queen would attend on Tuesday.
A Buckingham Palace spokesperson commented, “In a happy development, Her Majesty The Queen is attending today’s event to mark the completion of the Elizabeth line. Her Majesty was aware of the engagement and the organisers were informed of the possibility she may attend.”
Arriving just after 11am, The Queen and The Earl of Wessex were welcomed by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, as well as Transport for London Commissioner, Andy Byford. The Queen and Prince Edward met staff who have been key to the project as well as those who will run the railway including train drivers, station staff and apprentices.
After unveiling a plaque to mark the opening of the Elizabeth Line, Her Majesty The Queen departed Paddington accompanied by Prince Edward. The Earl of Wessex then returned to the concourse to carry on the engagement solo. Prince Edward accompanied Mr Johnson, Mr Khan and Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, on a return journey from Paddington to Tottenham Court Road.
Commenting on The Queen’s surprise visit, Boris Johnson commented, “We’re all incredibly touched and moved and grateful to Her Majesty for coming to open the Elizabeth Line today. It was fantastic to see her.”
Though a short but sweet engagement for Her Majesty The Queen, it is seen as a positive sign to many of Her Majesty The Queen’s ability to take part in as many of the upcoming Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The Platinum Jubilee celebrations begin in just over two weeks.