Talk about a crowd-pleasing duo! Queen Elizabeth and the Duchess of Sussex were greeted by cheering crowds when they arrived at their first official engagement together, and newly married Meghan looked very happy in the Queen’s company, even without the support of husband Prince Harry.
It was the first time she’d attended an event with the Queen without the prince, and her first visit to the north of England, but the pair looked in great spirits as they oversaw the official opening of the Mersey Gateway Bridge and Chester’s Storyhouse Theatre. They then had lunch at the historic Chester Town Hall with dignitaries.
But it was crowds of hundreds of school children who were likely the most excited to see the monarch and the newest member of the royal family, greeting the two with loud cheers as they got off the train they’d caught from London to the event.
The duchess wore a simple champagne-coloured dress with cape sleeves by French fashion house Givenchy, which was embellished with just a slim black belt that she matched with a small black clutch, her hair loose in light waves that she didn’t try to prevent becoming a little messy as she chatted with onlookers.
Her Majesty and Her Royal Highness then visited the Mersey Gateway Bridge in Widnes.The Queen and The Duchess met architects, planners and community representatives before seeing a performance by local schoolchildren called “Bringing communities together: Halton’s river crossings over the ages.” Her Majesty unveiled a plaque to commemorate the opening. The Bridge is a new six-lane toll bridge over the River Mersey between Runcorn and Widnes.#royalvisitcheshire
The Queen, meanwhile, wore a vibrant lime-green coat over a floral frock, her hands covered in white gloves despite the reasonably warm weather. A jaunty matching hat and her favourite Launer handbag in black completed the look, along with a three-strand pearl necklace and a large diamond brooch in a bow shape.
The BBC reported that the new duchess delighted the crowds by stopping to talk and shake hands as she toured the famous walled centre of Chester. “Meghan seemed like a natural in her new royal role and looked genuinely happy as she stopped to chat and shake hands with those assembled,” the British broadcaster noted. “Many of them hadn’t expected she would have time to speak to them and were visibly moved.”
Lisa Sanders waited with her daughter Sarah to see the royals, and was rewarded with a chance to meet Meghan in person. “She was fantastic, so natural,” Sanders told the BBC. “I said hello and I couldn’t believe she shook hands with us.”
Onlookers said that there appeared to be real warmth between the Queen and her granddaughter-in-law, with the pair laughing together on several occasions, and Meghan noticeably watching the monarch for cues on when to walk and when to stop, and Queen Elizabeth stopping once or twice to smile encouragingly at the newest member of her family.