Page last updated at 15:25 GMT, Monday, 5 May 2008 16:25 UK

Queen's secret trip to name train

The Queen visits Exbury
The Queen also visited a Yew tree she planted in the gardens four years ago

Visitors to a Hampshire attraction could hardly believe their eyes when they were joined by the Queen.

Her Majesty made the secret visit to Exbury Gardens in the New Forest, to name a mini-steam locomotive in a private ceremony at the weekend.

Dressed in a grey raincoat, she went for a trip around the grounds on the new engine called Mariloo before enjoying tea and lunch.

The Queen is a personal friend of the Rothschild family who own Exbury.

In a statement Exbury Gardens said: "Exbury's new steam locomotive received the best possible launch when a surprise visit from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II saw her named and rolled out onto the tracks.

"The Queen, a personal friend of the Rothschild family who own Exbury, unveiled the five tonne Mariloo in a private ceremony on Saturday afternoon just a day before its public launch.

"Her Majesty enjoyed tea and lunch with the Rothschilds and took a walk around Exbury accompanied by head gardener John Anderson who showed her the progress made by a Yew tree she planted four years ago."


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