Royal couple get a taste of commuter travelling on Melbourne tram

Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh ride on an electric tram through the Melbourne city centre. PA
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh ride on an electric tram through the Melbourne city centre. PA
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Whether being driven past cheering crowds at major public events or chauffeured to her country retreats, the Queen is accustomed to travelling in comfort and luxury.

So Her Majesty could be forgiven for looking a little apprehensive when she and the Duke of Edinburgh boarded a commuter tram on the eighth day of their official tour of Australia.

Melbourne’s transport authorities made a few concessions to the Royal passengers – including decorating the normally white tram in red, white and blue, and setting its electronic screens to show the words Royal Tram and the monarch’s initials ER.

But inside the vehicle the Queen sat below a less encouraging sign, bearing the advice: “Please hold on – sudden stops are sometimes necessary”.

After taking the Royal couple to a reception and lunch with local politicians, tram driver Joyleen Smith described the event as an “honour”.

She added: “When they got on I said hello to the Queen, and Philip said, ‘Come on driver, let’s go, we’re running late’, so I thought we better go.

“He said it with a smile on his face and I know he’s got a wicked sense of humour.”

Earlier, the Queen met former conjoined twins Trishna and Krishna Mollick when she opened Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital, one of the world’s leading centres for paediatric health care.