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Royals take Melbourne tram ride

The Duke of Edinburgh was every inch the exasperated commuter when he took a tram ride through Melbourne with the Queen.

As soon as the royal couple stepped aboard the public transport vehicle he waved his hand and ordered driver Joyleen Smith to set off as they were running late.

It is the first time the monarch has travelled by tram since she boarded one during the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002.

In honour of the royal passengers the white Z3-Class vehicle had been transformed with a red, white and blue exterior colour scheme and inside it had been refurbished and restored.

A dot-matrix screen at its front displayed the world's "Royal Tram" while a smaller one was lit-up with the monarch's initials "ER".

Ms Smith, a tram driver for almost seven years, described the event as an "honour". She added: "When they got on I said hello to the Queen, and Philip said, 'Come on driver, let's go, we're running late', so I thought we better go."

The Queen and the Duke boarded the tram at Stop 13 in Melbourne's Federation Square and travelled along St Kilda Road to a reception and lunch with local politicians at Government House.

They had been held up during a walkabout through the square as dozens of well-wishers had wanted to hand flowers and presents to the royals as tens of thousands looked on.

The royal couple sat facing each other with the Premier of Victoria, Ted Baillieu, and his wife Robyn sat side by side close by.

The monarch may be more used to travelling in a chauffeur driven state Bentley or Rolls-Royce but she appeared at home on public transport. And like any other passenger the Queen had to pay her way - although her Australian equerry Commander Andrew Willis had the job of buying her ticket.

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