What’s on at NRM York

Royal Carriages

From Queen Victoria's lavish 'palace on wheels' to King Edward VII's well-furnished smoking saloon discover the biggest collection of royal carriages in the world.


Date:
All year round
Audience:
Suitable for all ages
Type:
Family activities, Exhibitions


Peek into the past and imagine what it was like to tour Britain as part of the Royal family.

Our Royal collection include:

  • Queen Adelaide's saloon, the oldest preserved carriage in Europe.
  • Queen Victoria's 'Palace on Wheels'. This is the most famous and popular of the royal carriages and is one of the several saloons made for the Queen during her reign. It is the only surviving example and was her undoubted favourite. It became part of the collection in November 2003, 103 years after it was last used by Queen Victoria.
  • King Edward VII's royal carriage. Built by the London & North Western Railway in 1902. It was the principal royal train used for travel to Scotland.
  • The most modern (and considerably less extravagant) royal train is the Royal Saloon built for King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (Queen Mother) in 1941. Built during the Second World War, its carriages were designed to give maximum protection to its royal inhabitants.

Did you know?

Queen Victoria refused to allow any of her trains to travel more than 40mph in daylight and 30mph at night. It is said that she had a special signal installed on the roof of one of her carriages so she could instruct the driver to slow down if she felt he was going too fast.

During World War 2 the Royal family toured the country to keep morale high – when the family were onboard overnight the train was placed in a tunnel for extra protection.

King Edward allegedly asked for this carriage to be decorated in the same lavish style as the royal yacht.



More views the Royal Carriages

Background: 'Skegness is so Bracing' LNER Poster