The A1 Steam Locomotive Trust has been privileged to have a firm relationship with the Monarch and his Queen since 2008. At this time consideration was being given to the naming of Tornado following completion. There has been a long tradition of Royal namings of locomotives and it was a great privilege when Prince Charles agreed to name Tornado.
After much careful planning the day came in February 2009 when the Royal Train made its way to York station conveying TRH Prince Charles and The Duchess of Cornwall. Tornado was attached to the front of the train, with a banner obscuring the nameplate ready for the unveiling, and a ceremony took place complete with military band and flypast by the Royal Air Force. Tornado then took the Royal Train to Leeds station with HRH taking a trip on the footplate to see how the loco performed for himself.
The Prince and Duchess continued to follow the story of Tornado and made a request in 2010 for Tornado to haul the Royal Train to the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. This aligned with a speech the Prince was giving there, and the Duchess of Cornwall was making a visit to the nearby Coronation Street TV Studios. On this occasion Tornado hauled the Royal Train from Preston, through flurries of snow, to arrive at the original Manchester Station dating back to 1830. Later on the same day Tornado was at Manchester Victoria station with the Royal Train, and carried the Prince on a trip to Crewe station for further engagements on board. Again HRH took the chance to travel on the footplate, this time in the dark, which was a magical experience for all.
Perhaps the most ambitious steam hauled Royal Train ever undertaken in the preservation era was a very special trip from Wiltshire to Scotland in 2012, which included running through the night. Tornado attached to the Royal Train at Wembley and headed west. After collecting HRH the train then worked via Cheltenham, Birmingham and Derby before a stop for servicing south of York. The train then proceeded on to Darlington and along the original Stockton and Darlington Railway route onto Bishop Auckland where the Prince had appointments. The journey was then back to Darlington and on north to Durham to collect Justin Welby, the Bishop of Durham (now the Archbishop of Canterbury), for a meeting on board. Tornado steamed north to Alnmouth where the Prince had further engagements. The train, with Tornado, then proceeded across the border into Scotland and to journeys end after more than 500 miles.
With the commencement of the Trust's second locomotive Buckingham Palace was approached for permission to use the name Prince of Wales on the new P2. It was a great pleasure that not only HRH Prince Charles supported this request but, as required, HM The Queen also approved its use. Thus No. 2007 Prince of Wales will be the seventh member of the P2 class and the King has been kept fully up to date with its progress, as with Tornado's, via regular correspondence and meetings.