Meg & Her Majestee-hee-hee
Amazing bond between Queen, 92, and Duchess, 36
I thanked her for coming and she sweetly said, ‘You’re welcome, I’m happy to be here’ CHESTER LOCAL JO RICHARDS ON MEETING DUCHESS OF SUSSEX
THE Queen’s expression clearly says “We Are Amused” as she shares a joke with Meghan Markle yesterday.
The bond between Her Majesty, 92, and new granddaughter-in-law the Duchess of Sussex, 36, was plain to see on their first royal outing.
Thousands cheered them during their visit to Cheshire and Meghan smiled as she told wellwishers Prince Harry was “the best husband ever” and being married was “wonderful”.
The former Suits actress wowed the crowds in a figure-hugging Givenchy dress and wore a set of pearl and diamond stud earrings that were a gift from the monarch.
And royal sources said the Queen had chosen her green Stewart Parvin outfit and Rachel Trevor Morgan hat to mark yesterday’s one-year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower inferno.
The colour has been adopted by survivors of the tragedy, in which 72 people died. And the royal pair showed further solidarity as they joined a minute’s silence for the disaster outside the Storyhouse cultural centre in Chester before enjoying some performances by schoolchildren.
Meghan travelled to Cheshire with the Queen overnight on the royal train – a privilege normally only afforded to Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Camilla. And she showed no nerves in her new role during a busy day of events. After arriving at Runcorn station, they were driven to nearby Widnes for Her Majesty to officially open the £1.86billion Mersey Gateway bridge – which Meghan said was “magnificent”.
The next stop was the new Storyhouse centre in Chester. They were cheered by crowds that had waited from as early as 7am to see the newest member of the Royal Family.
Jo Richards, from Chester, said: “Meghan looked simply perfect, she is jaw-droppingly gorgeous. I thanked her for coming to Chester and she sweetly said, ‘You’re welcome, I’m very happy to be here’. Then I asked her was she enjoying married life and she said ‘Harry is the best husband’, she was so sweet.”
Sharon Briscoe, 61, from nearby Chirk, said she had asked to see Meghan’s wedding ring before remarking on her stunning look at her Windsor nuptials last month.
Mrs Briscoe said: “I was actually stunned by how beautiful she is in the flesh.
“I asked her how married life was and she said ‘wonderful’, and then I told her how gorgeous she looked at her wedding and her and Harry look made for each other, to which she replied ‘Thank you, that means so much to us both’. “It was an unforgettable experience, just wonderful.”
PRINCE Charles found somefin to laugh about in Cork yesterday – just as his mother did seven years ago.
The heir to the throne met the man who made Queen Elizabeth chuckle in 2011.
Only this time fishmonger Pat O’connell tickled his royal visitor with a salmon, not a monkfish, at the city’s English Market.
Prince Charles said: “When I told the Queen we were going to be visiting Cork she said, ‘You must go to the English Market, you will love it’.”
Charles’ wife Camilla added a flash of colour in a knee-length teal coat and drew compliments from royal admirers.
But her husband enjoyed high praise too. Margot Ann Murphy, at the Roughty Foodie stall, instantly fell for the prince.
She said: “I said to him, ‘You are such a good-looking man’. He was thrilled. And Camilla had a smile from ear to ear – she was the cat that got the cream.”
Another highlight of the visit was seeing puppies at the National Guide Dog Training Centre.
A tricolour and Union Flag fluttered above the City Hall and crowds lined the streets as royal cars arrived in town.
Tanaiste and Cork South Central TD Simon Coveney also welcomed Charles and Camilla to the City Hall. And he spoke of the long and often fraught history between Ireland and England.
But the prince said the future is brighter. He added: “Today, we are not just neighbours, but old friends who, tragically, have travelled a troubled road.”
Meanwhile, Prince Charles took a step back in time when he was taken around a recreated famine hut.
And he became the first British royal to board an Irish naval vessel – the William Butler Yeats – when he visited their National Maritime College HQ.
The pair salute crowds in Chester and do walkabout SPARKLE Schoolkids at the bridge opening, Meghan chats to wellwishers in Chester and, right, her pearl and diamond earrings Meghan and Queen joke at bridge opening
HUMBLING Charles at the famine home GREAT CATCH Pat, Charles, Camilla and Minister Coveney at the English Market, Cork yesterday. Inset, Queen’s visit in 2011 HAT’S NICE Royal welcome at the market SEA HEIR With schoolkids at the naval base