Newlywed the Duchess of Sussex will pass another royal milestone on Thursday as she accompanies the Queen for the first time together on an official royal visit to Cheshire.
Meghan, 36, who married the Queen’s grandson Prince Harry last month in the gothic splendour of the 15th-century St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle, will begin her rites of passage as a royal newcomer with a visit to Widnes and Runcorn, on the banks of the River Mersey, famous for chemicals and rugby league.
All eyes will be on the duchess, the first time she has joined the Queen for an event without her husband, as she gets to grips with her new role of ribbon cutting and plaque unveiling, under the watchful eye of the 92-year-old monarch.
Meghan and the Queen set to open £1.86 billion toll crossing
The itinerary for the US-born former actress and the 92-year-old monarch included officially opening the Mersey Gateway Bridge, a £1.86 billion six lane toll crossing designed to ease traffic between Runcorn and Widnes.
But the opening event was at the Catalyst Museum in West Bank, Widnes, which offers a bird’s eye view of the new crossing from the glass top observation gallery.
Later the pair were heading to the historic city of Chester for more engagements.
Meghan wows Merseyside in Givenchy dress
Alighting from the Royal train along side the Queen, Meghan was greeted by David Briggs MBE, the Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire.
He told the duchess: ‘Welcome to Cheshire. I understand this is your first visit to northern England.’
The duchess, wearing an outfit by Givenchy and clutching a handbag, replied: ‘That’s right yes.’
Meghan and the Queen enjoy their first royal engagement
Both arrived by royal train at Runcorn train station to begin the day’s engagements before departing by car for the Mersey Gateway Bridge.
There the Queen will unveil a plaque to officially open the £1.86 billion project, a six-lane toll bridge over the River Mersey, to ease traffic between Runcorn and Widnes.