Kate and William broke royal tradition with bold move ahead of COP26

Kate and William: Lorraine on royal’s train journey to COP26

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The decision of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to travel like any other commuter could be an attempt to send out a message to the public ahead of the climate conference.

Network Rail Scotland wrote on Monday: “A pleasure to welcome the Earl and Countess of Strathearn to Glasgow Central this afternoon.

“Drew Burns, Glasgow Central’s station manager, met the Royal couple as they arrived in the city by train for COP26.”

The Royal Train, which is reportedly the Queen’s favourite means of travel, has been used by monarchs since Queen Victoria.

While its carriages used to be the home of luxurious velvet sofas and bright cushions, its modern version, which came into service for Her Majesty’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, is less ostentatious.

The Royal Train has bedrooms, bathrooms, a sitting room and a large dining room, as well as an office for the Queen and space for her staff.

The intention behind such a train is to provide a safe environment for the Royal Family while accommodating their busy schedules over an extended period of time without disrupting the public.

Reserved for the most senior members of the Firm, Kate boarded it for the first time in December last year, when she and William went on a three-day tour around England, Scotland and Wales to thank front-line workers, volunteers, care home staff and teachers for their hard work throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

But on this occasion, the Cambridges, both 39, who are known as the Earl and Countess of Strathearn in Scotland, decided not to make use of this exclusive mode of transport. Instead, they took a Network Rail Scotland train.

In doing so, it is believed Kate and William could be trying to act on-brand in the context of the climate change conference and their broader environmental commitments.

Upon arrival in Glasgow, as part of their activities to support COP26, the pair met with a Scouts group at Alexandra Sports hub in Dennistoun.

They learned about the Scouts’ PromiseToThePlanet campaign and made planet-friendly vegetarian burgers with them.

Later, Kate and William hosted a reception for key members of the Sustainable Markets Initiative and the Winners and Finalists of the first Earthshot Prize Awards.

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The Earthshot Prize has been labelled “the most ambitious environmental prize in history”, with £50 million to be awarded in the next decade.

After the Queen was forced to cancel her attendance at COP26 due to health issues, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s responsibility in representing the Royal Family is even bigger than initially expected.

Even though the Monarch delivered a recorded video message to world leaders and that Prince Charles is at the summit too, Kate and William’s role in raising awareness about the need for climate action is pivotal given their level of influence.

The parents-of-three were recently described as being “relatable” to Britons thanks to their use of social media, which according to a royal commentator boosts their public profile.

Speaking on Podcast Royal show, Rachel Burchfield said: “It gives us some sense of who they really are behind the scenes or behind the cameras at the official public appearances.

“It sort of feels unscripted even if it is, and it gives us a more relatable perspective to be able to hear from them in that way.”

Their trip on a Network Rail train to Glasgow may just be one more instance in which the Duke and Duchess are trying to connect with the public.

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