Railway carriage, London & Birmingham Railway, Queen Adelaide's saloon, No 2, built in 1842. The under frame was built at Euston Works, the body was built by a coach builder in Gough Street, London.
In 1840, Queen Adelaide became the first member of the British Royal Family to travel by train when she took a train from Nottingham to Leeds. Queen Victoria became the first British monarch to travel by train in 1842.
In this same year, a carriage was built exclusively for the use of Queen Adelaide, who was the widow of William IV and therefore the aunt of Queen Victoria.
This is the oldest surviving royal carriage, and is described as a ‘bed-carriage’ and was built by the London & Birmingham Railway, based on a type initially built from 1837 for ordinary first-class passengers. By using poles, webbing, and stiff cushions, a bed could be made up at night. This particular carriage was designed with purpose-built arrangements for Queen Adelaide.
It is finished in a far more elaborate manner than ordinary first-class vehicles, the bodywork being by Hooper, later known for their connections with Daimler and Rolls-Royce. The carriage retained some visual similarities with traditional horse-drawn carriages, with gold-plated handles and hand painted armorial bearings on the exterior panels.