Inside Meghan Markle and Queen Elizabeth's first joint public engagement

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Megan Murray
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The new Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, has made her first public appearance with the Queen to open the Mersey Gateway Bridge in Chester – and it’s just as sweet as we’d hoped. 

It’s been just three weeks since she married Prince Harry, but Meghan Markle seems to have had no difficulties taking to living life as a royal. Not only does she have her very own coat of arms, and has left her personal stamp on occasions like Trooping the Colour, but she’s just received the ultimate royal seal of approval by becoming the Queen’s right-hand woman on her most recent royal engagement. 

Meghan made her first royal public appearance without Harry on Thursday 14 June, accompanying the Queen on a trip to Cheshire. It’s the first time we’ve seen the pair out together, and by the looks of things, they’re getting along swimmingly. 

Meghan and the Queen travelled on a special overnight train to the northwest of England to ensure they made it on time for a packed day of events, including the official opening of the Mersey Gateway Bridge.

By the time the sleeper pulled into Runcorn station, the pair were looking fabulous – so we’re guessing their experience was slightly more luxurious than any overnight journey we’ve ever taken.

Queen Elizabeth II wore an eye-catching lime green dress by Stewart Parvin and matching hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan, while Meghan donned a light beige pencil dress by none other than her wedding dress designer, Givenchy. 

Meghan Markle and the Queen, having just stepped off the train at Runcorn station

At the station they were greeted by local dignitaries with a flurry of handshakes and smiles, all of which provided ample photo opportunities.  Arriving at the newly built £1.86bn bridge, which has been designed to reduce traffic between Runcorn and Widnes, Meghan and the Queen were met by crowds waving banners and British flags to welcome them. 

After meeting with the architects behind the structure and members of the community, the Duchess of Sussex took a look at the bridge for herself before enjoying a performance by a group of local school children. The class came together for a song called Bringing Communities Together: Halton’s river crossings over the ages, to illustrate what a positive move the new bridge will be in connecting the surrounding areas. 

Meghan and the Queen then headed to Storyhouse, a theatre, cinema and library in Chester, to meet a Syrian settlement group and watch a production of A Little Night Music by dance company Fallen Angels.

Meghan Markle and the Queen saying hello to the crowds

The last appointment of the day for the Queen and her granddaughter-in-law was expected to be a lunch at Chester Town Hall to meet some of the local people.

Speaking to People, the Queen’s former press secretary, Charles Anson, describes the outing as a big moment for Markle’s introduction to the royal family, saying: “It is the way of the royal family – all part of the training and getting used to being in public life and under public scrutiny. Showing people the ropes is a high priority for the Queen.” 

From the sweet smiles being exchanged by Markle and the Queen, it looks to us like a lovely friendship may be blossoming.

Images: Getty