Earlier today The Queen paid a visit to Paddington station to officially open the Elizabeth line ahead of its opening to the public next Tuesday, and during the visit, The Queen unveiled a plaque to celebrate the completion of the line. The plaque will later be moved to be permanently mounted on the wall at Paddington station.
This was in fact Her Majesty’s second visit to the Elizabeth line, as she had been into the tunnels in 2016 to mark the name change from Crossrail to the Elizabeth line. Her Majesty also became the first reigning monarch to travel on the London Underground in 1969, when she opened the Victoria line.
Although The Queen stayed at Paddington this time, The Earl of Wessex took a driver’s cab ride through the tunnels to Tottenham Court Road. Normally that trip from platform to platform would take about 10 minutes by tube train, but will be just 5 minutes when the Elizabeth line opens.
The Queen may have missed the opening of Parliament, but she didn’t miss the opening of a railway.
She clearly has the correct priorities.
Her Majesty and His Royal Highness were joined on their visit by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Transport for London’s Commissioner Andy Byford, the Transport Secretary the Right Hon. Grant Shapps, and the Crossrail Chief Executive Mark Wild.
The Queen and Prince Edward also met train drivers, station staff and apprentices.
London is paying for most of the Elizabeth line, with nearly 70 per cent of the total funding paid by London – made up of roughly 30 per cent is from London’s farepayers, around 40 per cent from London’s businesses – combined with 30 per cent from Government, and when open is expected to boost the UK economy by an estimated £42 billion.