PRINCESS Anne visited York's National Railway Museum to see the completed conservation work on Queen Victoria's railway carriage.

The Princess Royal was attending the museum for the first time to see the carriage, 150 years after it was first built.

She also unveiled a plaque to celebrate the occasion on Friday.

The royal saloon has undergone an extensive 14-month external restoration. It involved repairing and redecorating the carriage by hand, replacing decorative mouldings, applying gold leaf and repainting it in its original colours.

Princess Anne was greeted by museum Director Judith McNicol and Dame Mary Archer, chair of the Science Museum Group, before taking a tour of the museum’s Station Hall.

The visit began with a look at the new exhibition on modern railways, including Britain’s first ever Hyperloop system, before the royal visitor spoke to several school children from York High School.

Princess Anne was also shown Terrance Cuneo’s famous 1967 painting of Waterloo Station.

The princess was then shown around Queen Victoria’s carriage, King Edward's carriage and the newly refurbished Queen Elizabeth carriage.

When unveiling the plaque, Princess Anne said: “Congratulations on what you have achieved, not least of all for keeping it in such great shape for as long as you have.

“The museum's history of carriages here on display will help inspire others, and give huge scope for more renovation and this is a really good place to show that off.

“There is lessons to learn here on the quality and skills of engineering that have gone into these carriages.

“Museums like this have set a standard that we can build on for engineering in the future.”

Jamie Taylor, exhibition project leader at the museum, said: “She was very interested in the latest prototype of the Hyperloop and the current push towards innovation in railway engineering.”

Millie Gray, a year 8 pupil at York High School, said that Princess Anne asked her what she was currently studying at school.

Chris Binks, who worked on the restoration for a year, said: “It has been a tremendous privilege, experience and a huge learning curve.

“I don’t think I will ever get a job in my career like this again.”

Judith McNicol, director of the National Railway Museum, said: “I am honoured to welcome Her Royal Highness to the National Railway Museum which was opened by her father in 1975, to showcase the range of fascinating objects in the collection as well as the skill and dedication of my colleagues. This is the first time the carriage exterior has been restored since it joined the collection, and the conservation team has had to proceed with the utmost care to preserve this unique item for future generations.”

Princess Anne also visited the charity Victim Support, in Priory Street, York, as well as York University, to launch a new Bioeconomy initiative.