Meghan Markle and the Queen arrive in Cheshire for joint engagementby Richard Bailey 14/06/2018 08:20:00 0 comments 1 Views
This is how one does it! The Queen shows Meghan the royal ropes as they arrive in Cheshire on their first joint public engagement after an overnight trip on the Royal Train
- Duchess of Sussex took the royal train with head of state for the first time yesterday evening
- Pair have arrived at Runcorn Station in Cheshire after travelling from London
- Today is designed to give new Duchess a masterclass in royal engagements
- Pair will meet a Syrian settlement group learning craft works and local theatre performers
By Rebecca English Royal Correspondant For The Daily Mail and Siofra Brennan and Martha Cliff for MailOnline
Published: 05:45 EDT, 14 June 2018 | Updated: 08:19 EDT, 14 June 2018
The Duchess of Sussex has arrived in Cheshire with the Queen for a masterclass in how to conduct royal engagements, just a month after her wedding.
The former actress enjoyed an inaugural overnight trip on the Royal Train with the Queen, ahead of her first day of engagements with the monarch, and arrived at Runcorn Station this morning after travelling up from London with the head of state on the distinctive burgundy-liveried locomotive.
It was around ten months after her own nuptials before the Duchess of Cambridge undertook a similar day of events - and will no doubt be viewed as a sign of royal confidence in the former actress.
The Queen has been on the throne for 66 years and has conducted tens of thousands of public engagements, shaking hundreds of thousands of hands along the way.
Former actress Meghan couldn't resist sporting another creation by her wedding designer Givenchy, and looked elegant in the cream fitted dress with a cape feature at the shoulders, nipped in at the waist with a black belt, carrying a simple black bag by the same designer.
Her Majesty was vibrant as ever in a lime green ensemble by Stewart Parvin and hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan.
The monarch and her son's granddaughter seemed to be getting on famously, with Meghan giggling and whispering into the Queen's ear while watching a children's performance at the opening of a new bridge across the River Mersey in Widnes, Cheshire.
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Getting on famously! The Queen and the Duchess of Sussex shared a joke this morning as they watched a ceremony to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge during their first official engagement together
The new Duchess of Sussex was all smiles as she arrived in Cheshire for her first join engagement with the Queen. The former actress was solicitous over the Her Majesty and kept a watchful eye on the monarch as she followed her lead
Firm friends! The Queen looked in great spirits as she began her day out with Harry's new wife and the pair showed their lighthearted bond as they laughed together during an opening ceremony for the new Mersey Gateway Bridge
The Duchess of Sussex and the Queen arrive by Royal Train at Runcorn Station to carry out engagements in Cheshire
Join the royal fold in a chic cape dress like the Duchess of Sussex in Givenchy
What does one wear for a joint engagement with the Queen?
It's not a dilemma the rest of us face on a daily basis, but it's a decision the new Duchess of Sussex had to make ahead of her visit to Cheshire today!
Following on from her Carolina Herrera look at Trooping the Color last weekend, the newlywed got it spot on by choosing Givenchy, the designer label that was of course behind her bridal gown.
We love the elegant simplicity of the nude hue and pencil fit, but it's the layered cape detail that takes this look to another level. When teamed with a black belt, clutch bag and heels by Sarah Flint, she perfectly complements the Queen in lime green Stewart Parvin.
It's a custom made design so isn't available, but click (right) to buy something similar.
Or check out the Meghan-inspired styles we've found below that will have you feeling like royalty.
The new Duchess of Sussex walked behind the monarch as she prepared to dismount the Royal Train at Runcorn Station
The Queen and the Duchess visited the Storyhouse library in Chester where they mingled with locals who use the wide variety of services on offer
Smiling Meghan looked poised and confident as she stood alongside the monarch during their first official engagement together (left). The growing bond between the two women was evident as they shared a joke
Today will offer Meghan the opportunity to learn from the Queen who has been on the throne for 66 years and has conducted tens of thousands of public engagements
Growing confidence! Meghan seemed completely at ease as she chatted with the monarch and the pair shared a joke during the opening ceremony
The Queen and Meghan arriving at the Storyhouse library, theatre and cinema which has attracted more than a million visitors in its first year
The former Suits actress teamed her cream Givenchy dress with black heels and a smart black handbag(left). The former Suits actress teamed her cream Givenchy dress with black heels and a smart black handbag (right)
Her royal debut! The Duchess of Sussex looked animated as she chatted during her first official engagement with the Queen
Meghan followed behind the Queen as they got out of their car and made their way to the Storyhouse library
The Duchess flashed her stunning engagement band as she shared a joke with the Queen during their first joint engagement
The royal visitors chatted to Halton Council officials, architects and engineers and others involved in the 25-year project to create the new toll bridge across the Mersey between Widnes and Runcorn.
'It's a magnificent bridge,' Meghan told them before joining the Queen on a stage to watch a dance performance by local schoolchildren celebrating 1,000 years of crossings across the river.
The royal visitors lapped it up, smiling and chatting to each other and to dignitaries as they watched children dance to a seven-minute medley of music that included Edgar's March Pomp and Circumstance and The Beatles' Can't Buy Me Love.
'The Duchess was absolutely interested in the dance performance and in the history of the various bridges that have crossed the river,' said David Parr, Halton Council's chief executive.
The Queen and Meghan taking their seats for the official opening of the new Mersey Gateway Bridge, in Widnes, Cheshire. The Duchess of Sussex cut an elegant figure in a cream Givenchy dress as she took her seat beside Her Majesty
Mirthful monarch! The Queen seemed in great spirits as she enjoyed her day out with Harry's new wife Meghan
Meghan clapped as her husband's grandmother unveiled a plaque to officially open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge, in Widnes, Cheshire
Meghan looked thrilled to be spending the day with the Queen for their first official engagement just a month after her wedding to Harry. Today provides the opportunity to learn the ropes from the monarch who has been on the throne for 66 years
After spending the evening together as they travelled north on the Royal Train, Meghan and the monarch seemed to be getting on famously
The Queen unveiled a plaque to officially open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge in the town of Widnes in Halton, Cheshire
Tight schedule! The Queen appeared to be checking on the time as she arrived with Meghan at the Storyhouse
Her Majesty's green outfit appeared to be a subtle tribute to the victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. At 12pm, the monarch and Meghan paused to observe a minute's silence for the 71 victims who died a year ago today
The Queen and Meghan arriving at the Storyhouse Centre in Chester where they will be taken on a tour of the building before unveiling a plaque to mark the official opening
Royal visitors! Youngsters were treated to a drop in from some very esteemed guests in the form of Meghan and the Queen
Before they left, the Queen and Meghan accepted posies from two schoolgirls, Savannah Cafferty, 11, and Alarni Wain, who was celebrating her eighth birthday.
'They both wished me happy birthday,' said an excited Alarni. Savannah, smiling afterwards, said: 'I never thought I'd get the chance to meet the Duchess.'
The Queen and Meghan both praised the children's dance performance, in the grounds of a science museum half a mile from the bridge, when they spoke to Andrew Curphey, whose theatre company had brought 80 children aged 5-18 from nine local schools together to create their show, entitled Bringing Communities Together.
Windswept! The Duchess was having a little trouble keeping her long hair under control in the wind after she decided to wear it down rather that opting for an updo
While the Queen was vibrant in green, Meghan opted for a more pared back look in an elegant cream dress with a cape detail around the shoulders
'It's been a massive treat, a massive buzz for us all,' Mr Curphey, 32, said. 'They both wanted to talk. The Queen said she really enjoyed it but the best hit was just before they left with Meghan.
She turned back and said to me: 'The children did great by the way.' Me Curphey said of Meghan: 'She was really calm considering it was her first official engagement with the boss. She is with the boss so no pressure.'
As the pair disembarked from the Royal Train this morning, they were greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs, who told the Duchess: 'I understand it is your first trip to the north of England.'
Next stop for the royals was a visit to the Storyhouse centre in Chester, which features a library and performing arts spaces.
At 12pm they paused outside to observe a minute's silence in remembrance of the 71 people who were killed in the Grenfell Tower tragedy one year ago today.
A royal day out! Meghan is spending the day learning the ropes from the Queen during their first official joint engagement
Both the Duchess and the Queen were presented with bouquets of flowers by local schoolchildren before opening the Mersey Gateway Bridge
The Queen and Meghan have met before but today is the first time they've conducted a joint engagement together
The Queen and Meghan dropped in to see schoolchildren at the Storyhouse building in Chester, but at first the youngsters didn't seem to notice the visitors had arrived
The Queen and her new granddaughter-in-law are set to open the new Mersey Gateway Bridge, in Widnes, Cheshire
The new Duchess of Sussex and the Queen climbed into a waiting car to make their way to their first engagement of the day
Her Majesty looked vibrant as ever in lime green, while Meghan kept it simple in a cream dress teamed with black heels
Queen Elizabeth II and the Duchess of Sussex walk to their car after arriving by Royal Train at Runcorn Station to carry out engagements in Cheshire
The Queen and Meghan were shown around the library at Storhouse, which has proved a huge hit with visitors
Earlier in the day Phil Redmond, the creator of television dramas such as Brookside, Grange Hill, and Hollyoaks, was introduced to the Duchess with his wife Alexis, the High Sheriff of Cheshire.
'I wondered if she wanted a part in Hollyoaks,' he said. 'She will have to go through the audition process like everyone else.'
He was joking and admitted their conversation has been more about how nice it was to see the Duchess with the Queen in Widnes at a ceremony marking the opening of the new £1.86 billion Mersey Gateway bridge over the Mersey.
'I didn't (ask her) but there is a lunch to come,' he said. 'It's a big day for Cheshire.'
The Queen and Meghan arrived in Runcorn by train this morning, and as they disembarkedthey were greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of Cheshire, David Briggs, who told the Duchess: 'I understand it is your first trip to the north of England.'
She replied: 'That's correct. I'm very happy to be here.'
Pleased to meet you Ma'am! The royal party received a warm welcome at Runcorn station after travelling overnight by train. The Queen made sure she stood out in a lime green ensemble, while Meghan kept things simple in cream
The royal visitors walked from the station to their waiting car to make their way to the nearby Mersey Gateway Bridge
First stop on the agenda was a visit to the Mersey Gateway Bridge to conduct the official opening. Meghan seemed to be having a little difficulty keeping her long hair under control on a breezy morning
The Duchess of Sussex looked thrilled to be visiting Runcorn for the first time, for her first official day of engagements with the Queen
Meghan Duchess of Sussex arrives for the opening of the new Mersey Gateway Bridge in Cheshire
The Queen invited Harry's new bride to join her for a day of engagements, in order to help her learn the ropes of royal life
Meghan kept her look simple in a cream Givenchy dress and carried a simple black clutch bag
The Queen's outfit also appeared to be a subtle tribute to the victims after green became a symbol of remembrance for those affected by the fire.
Inside, the pair met with a Syrian settlement group learning craft works and watch a performance by Fallen Angels, a dance theatre company for people recovering from addiction, before moving to watch a medley of songs from the theatre's latest production, 'A Little Night Music'.
Before they left they were treated to a performance by local schoolchildren alongside actors from 'Swallow and Amzons' and the monarch unveiled her second plaque of the day to mark the Storyhouse's official opening.
No royal visit would be complete without a walkabout, and although Meghan has done a number of these already, she will join the Queen for a short meet and greet on their way to nearby Chester Town Hall for a civic lunch.
Meghan appeared to be struggling with her hair on a breezy morning in Cheshire after she opted to wear it down
The Duchess of Sussex looked chic in a cream dress by Givenchy, the same designer who created her breathtaking wedding dress. She accessorised with a simple black belt at the waist and carried a simple black bag that doubles as a clutch
Perfecting her royal wave! Meghan looked confident and at ease during her first engagement with the Queen, but appeared to be having a little trouble keeping her long hair under control in the wind
Her nerves, and lack of experience in the minutiae of royal protocol, were in evidence as they prepared to get into the Queen's Bentley awaiting them in the station car park.
There was a moment of confusion as the Duchess appeared unsure who should get into the car first. 'What is your preference?' she asked the Queen.
'You go first,' said the Queen. 'Oh OK,' said the duchess.
Meghan and the Queen arrived in Runcorn this morning after travelling on the Royal Train, which costs around £900,000 a year to run, is only used by the sovereign, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
Even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry have never been on it for an official engagement, but the Queen, now 92, prefers to use the train overnight when travelling long distances in the UK.
Meghan and the Queen have already met several times - the monarch was even been seen driving her dog just before the royal wedding.
But an overnight journey in each other's company without Harry to ease things along would have been to take their relationship to a new level.
They would have plenty of time to fill, as the Royal Train - nine carriages long - is hardly a rushed form of travel.
Given that the rail journey from London is only two hours the train, which left Euston at 11pm and arrived at 10.35, spent most of the night in a discreet siding well away from the main line, so the royal passengers could have an uninterrupted night's sleep.
ON BOARD THE ROYAL TRAIN
The monarch has invited Meghan to accompany her for a day of engagements today and MailOnline understands that, given the distances involved, the train set off yesterday - arriving at Runcorn station this morning.
While the Queen always tends to make long distance journeys on her train overnight, it will be quite the eye-opener for her new grand-daughter-in-law.
The locomotive consists of nine carriages in total, however, these are often reduced to seven depending on the number of people travelling, and Her Majesty is said to described it as one of the few places where she can relax in total privacy.
At over 150 years old it is the only private, non-commercial train service catering to one family still in operation in the UK and these photos offer a rare glimpse into Britain's most exclusive railway service.
Much of the nine-carriage train currently in service dates back to 1977 when it was extensively used during the Silver Jubilee tours and while a novel experience, it is terribly dated and not entirely luxurious.
In fact, photographs of inside the train show how it is now a lot more functional, in contrast to the plush interiors that it used to boast in its glamorous heyday.
This comes after criticism over the expense of the royal train, which cost taxpayers £900,000 in 2016.
Royal sleepover! The Duchess of Sussex stayed on board the Royal train (pictured) alongside the monarch who has invited Meghan to accompany her for a day of engagements