Queen Elizabeth Makes Surprise In-Person Public Visit

Queen Elizabeth II took commuters by surprise when she showed up at Paddington Station in London, England on Tuesday. According to the official royal family Instagram account, the queen visited the station so that she could be the first to buy a ticket for a new railway line named after her. The Elizabeth Line is now up and running.

The queen wore a canary yellow suit and matching hat for her visit to the train station on Tuesday. She walked to the ticket machine with the aid of a cane, but she wore a wide smile as she approached the desk. She was escorted by her youngest son, Prince Edward. According to a report by Entertainment Tonight, it had been announced that Prince Edward would attend the railway opening by himself, by the queen tagged along as a surprise.

"Celebrating the opening of the Elizabeth Line! Named in honour of The Queen, today Her Majesty and The Earl of Wessex visited Paddington Station ahead of the new line opening to passengers next week," read the social media post. "The Queen and The Earl met those who have been key to the Crossrail project, as well those who will be running the railway – including apprentices, drivers, and station staff."

The post includes four photos of the queen in Paddington station. She purchased her ticket from an automated kiosk and smiled at passersby where she could. Royal admirers were happy to see her out and about -- especially after the year she has had. The royal family and Buckingham Palace officials indicated that the queen would be stepping away from the public eye in recent months, yet this was her third public appearance in just five days.

The queen attended the Royal Windsor Horse Show last Friday, which was not a huge surprise given her love of horses and equestrianism. She then appeared on a televised event celebrating her Platinum Jubilee along with several other high-profile celebrities. Between those and the train visit, it's clear that this 96-year-old monarch is still in great health.

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Admirers have been concerned about the queen for over a year now -- since the death of her husband, Prince Philip, at least. In the time since his passing, the queen has been hospitalized twice -- once for an undisclosed illness and another time for COVID-19. Since recovering from the coronavirus in February, the queen has moved permanently from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle.

The queen is by far the longest-reigning monarch in British history. She has given no indication that she intends to step down or pass authority on to her heirs.