Prince William and Duchess Kate will be using the queen's exclusive Royal Train to visit front-line workers

Rasha Ali, USA TODAY
·2 min read

Prince William and Duchess Kate are taking a very special ride on a very special Royal Train on Sunday.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be using the Royal Train between Sunday and Tuesday to visit with organizations and individuals across the U.K. who have been on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The use of the Royal Train is unprecedented because it's usually reserved for use by the top four royals: The queen, her husband, Prince Philip, her heir, Prince Charles and his wife, Duchess Camilla of Cornwall.

Prince William and Duchess Kate will be traveling a total of 1,250 miles to meet with teachers, volunteers, front-line workers, care home staff, schoolchildren and young people to hear about their experiences with the pandemic and thank them for their efforts. The royal couple will also celebrate communities coming together by highlighting organizations like the NHS Charities Together that have been supported by community relief funds.

Local artists will be putting on a number of festive performances during Prince William and Duchess Kate's trip, showcasing the U.K.'s arts, heritage and live performance sector, which has been supported through the pandemic by the government's Culture Recovery Fund.

In honor of the royals' trip, 10-year-old British artist Joe Whale created a doodle depicting the duke and duchess' Royal Train ride.

Joe Whale, 10, created a doodle to illustrate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's journey.
Joe Whale, 10, created a doodle to illustrate the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's journey.

Though use of the Royal Train by those outside the top four royals is uncommon, it's not the first time someone other than the queen has used it.

In June 2018, Queen Elizabeth invited Duchess Meghan board The Royal Train for a day of solo engagements with Her Majesty in Cheshire.

It's a distinct privilege: Not even beloved Prince Harry, 36, has been invited to use the train.

The queen, who no longer travels on long-haul visits abroad, uses the train in Britain for long-distance engagements, traveling overnight from near London in the train's specially equipped, claret-colored "saloons," as the British call the carriages.

The Royal Train is one of the last transport perks the royals enjoy, after the much-loved royal yacht, the Britannia, was retired in 1997 — a cost-cutting move that prompted royal tears, even from the famously reserved queen.

Contributing: Maria Puente

More: Duchess Meghan's first solo trip with queen begins with unprecedented ride on Royal Train

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Prince William, Duchess Kate to travel on exclusive Royal Train