Meghan Markle stepped out for her first solo royal engagement with Queen Elizabeth following her royal wedding to Prince Harry.
The newly named Duchess of Sussex and her grandmother-in-law made their grand entrance arriving in northwest England for a series of events.
While the queen donned a green suit similar to the ensemble she wore to the royal wedding in May, Meghan greeted eager fans outside of the train station wearing a beige Givenchy pencil dress with a belted waist. The American actress made the decision to cover her arms and shoulders after critics deemed the off the shoulder Carolina Herrera dress that she wore to during the Trooping the Colour celebrations last weekend, “inappropriate.”
When Meghan and the queen stepped off the train, they were greeted by David Briggs, the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, who reportedly said to Meghan, “I understand it is your first trip to the north of England,” two which the Duchess replied, “That’s correct. I’m very happy to be here.”
The queen and Meghan’s public outing is the first time the new duchess has been seen out with the queen without any other members of the royal family. Royal author Ingrid Seward told People that Meghan’s solo outing with the queen occurred much sooner than Kate Middleton’s following her marriage to Prince William.
Queen Elizabeth’s former press secretary, Charles Anson, also told the mag that royal engagements such as these are the queen’s way of helping Meghan to acclimate to royal life.
“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,” Anson said. “Showing people the ropes is a high priority for the queen.”
According to People, the royals met with architects, planners and community representatives at Mersey Gateway Bridge for its grand opening. After a performance by some of the local children, the queen formally opened the bridge.
Following the bridge ceremony, the royal pair will visit the Storyhouse in Chester, where they are reportedly slated to meet with a Syrian settlement group, dine with locals in Chester Town Hall and watch a live dance and song performance from the current production of “A Little Night Music.”