Family: London Underground: Brilliant forgotten photos of the time the Queen took over driving a Tube train

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Due to her health, the Queen is not seen in public as often as she used to be, and it’s very easy to forget that she was once much more than an obscure figure waving to crowds from her balcony.

From travelling the world to serving in a war, the Queen has really done it all. She has even driven a train on the London Underground, one of her forgotten accomplishments from her younger days.

In 1969, the Queen drove a Victoria Line train from Green Park to Oxford Circus as part of the line’s opening ceremony. Although she only drove the train for one stop returning back to Green Park from the comfort of a passenger’s seat, photos of the momentous day have etched themselves into British royal history.

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The Queen rides the Tube for the second time in her life as part of the opening of the Victoria Line in 1969 © Mirrorpix The Queen rides the Tube for the second time in her life as part of the opening of the Victoria Line in 1969

A video of the day she took control of the train was shared by the British Pathe on Youtube . In the newsreel, the narrator is heard saying: “Her Majesty inspected the automatic controls of one of the line’s 34 silver trains, then pressed the buttons which sent the loco in motion. That’s all the driver has to do. Computers do the rest.

“The Queen stayed at the controls for the short journey between Green Park and Oxford Circus.”

Queen Elizabeth II enters the underground at Green Park Station in 1969 © 2008 Getty Images Queen Elizabeth II enters the underground at Green Park Station in 1969

What made her trip extra special was the fact that it was the first time a reigning monarch travelled on the London Underground. Shortly after arriving at Victoria, the Queen unveiled a plaque marking the occasion.

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Another interesting point to note is that the Queen even paid for her own ticket when boarding at Green Park station.

Queen Elizabeth II travels down the escalator at Green Park Station, past a poster for Alan Bennett's '40 Years On' and an advertisement for Quickies make-up remover in 1969 © Keystone/Getty Images Queen Elizabeth II travels down the escalator at Green Park Station, past a poster for Alan Bennett's '40 Years On' and an advertisement for Quickies make-up remover in 1969

The train she rode on can today be found at London Transport Museum Depot in Acton, having long been taken out of service.

It was only her second ever trip on the Tube, her first being in 1939 when she was 13, when she and her sister Margaret were given permission by their father King George VI to take a trip to St James's Park. They were accompanied by nanny Marion Crawford, minder Lady Helen Grantham and the house detective.

Queen Elizabeth II travels on the tube like an ordinary commuter in 1969. © Keystone/Getty Images Queen Elizabeth II travels on the tube like an ordinary commuter in 1969.

Some eight years later, in 1977, the Queen was once again allowed into the driver’s cabin during the opening ceremony of an extension to the Piccadilly line.

In 2013, the Queen also marked the 150th anniversary of the London Underground by making an appearance at Baker Street.

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