Markle and Queen enjoy first official engagement together
Published Thursday, June 14, 2018 9:09AM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, June 14, 2018 1:02PM EDT
Megan Markle, the new Duchess of Sussex, has taken her first one-on-one outing with the Queen, nearly four weeks after her marriage to Prince Harry.
The Duchess and the Queen took an overnight ride on the royal train to the county of Cheshire to attend several events, including the opening of a new bridge over the Mersey River in Widnes, near Liverpool.
The outing is the Duchess’ first official royal engagement without her new husband and could be a sign the Queen wants to quickly welcome in the royal family’s newest member.
The two seemed to get on well throughout the day, with Meghan whispering into the Queen's ear during a musical performance by local schoolchildren, and both smiling broadly throughout.
The duchess was dressed in a neutral-toned Givenchy pencil dress with a cape shoulder neckline, while the Queen wore a lime green dress-coat and matching hat.
They were joined by Meghan's new private secretary, Samantha Cohen, who is reportedly assisting the former actress in her first few months as a royal.
After the bridge opening ceremony and children’s performance, the Queen and the Duchess travelled to the nearby city of Chester, where they paused for a minute's silence at noon to mark the one-year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower Fire disaster that killed 72 people.
Later, they visited the local children’s library and met a group of Syrian refugee women working on handcrafts, before taking part in a walkabout to greet the locals in Chester.
With the Queen's husband Prince Philip now retired from royal duties, CTV News royal commentator Richard Berthelsen says he expects to see the Queen joined by other members of the royal family more often.
“(The Queen) really likes to be out and about with other people. And I think the family feels it’s only right that someone should be with a 92-year-old when they’re going about their engagements,” he told CTV NewsChannel.
The Queen and The Duchess of Sussex observed the national silence in memory of the people who died in the Grenfell Tower fire, a year ago today. pic.twitter.com/xosrDv4FKR— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) June 14, 2018
The Queen and The Duchess visited the @storyhouselive to formally open the building which is a library, theatre and cinema. It runs 2,000 activities per year for local communities. First Her Majesty and The Duchess viewed a storytelling session for nursery children and met the Storyhouse Young Leaders - local young people who work across the organisation to develop new skills. HM and HRH met people who attend “Digital Buddies ” which is a free IT intergenerational skills workshop and drop-in for anyone aged over-50, and Improv Gym which is a weekly drama workshop for the over-50s. They saw part of the current theatre production and then a choir of over 300 primary school aged children, from 11 schools across Cheshire West and Chester performed the song: Drop in the Ocean. Finally, Her Majesty unveiled a plaque and HM and HRH received lovely posies. From two members of Storyhouse’s Youth Theatre: Lilja Fagan, age 7 and Nye Egan-Simon, aged 6. #RoyalVisitCheshire