Meghan en­joys first trip with her new gran-in-law

Duchess of Sussex’s debut duty with Queen

The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands) - - NEWS - BY ELEANOR BAR­LOW

The Duchess of Sussex en­joyed a day out with the Queen in Cheshire as they took part in their first of­fi­cial en­gage­ments together.

T hou­sands turned out to catch a glimpse of the new­ly­wed as she ac­com­pa­nied the 92-yearold monarch for the first time with­out her hus­band Harry on of­fi­cial en­gage­ments in Run­corn, Widnes and Ch­ester.

Meghan, 36, was by her new grand­mother-in-law’s side as she of­fi­cially opened the Mersey Gate­way bridge and the Sto­ry­house arts cen­tre in Ch­ester, where they also ob­served a minute’s si­lence for the first an­niver­sary of the Gren­fell Tower tragedy.

The pair trav­elled up to the north-west of Eng­land on the Royal Train and ar­rived to cheers from flag­wav­ing school­child­ren at a blus­tery Run­corn train sta­tion yes­ter­day morn­ing.

The US- born for­mer ac­tress con­firmed it was her first visit to the north of the coun­try as she was greeted by the Lord Lieu­tenant of Cheshire David Briggs MBE and was pre­sented with a posy of flow­ers by five-yearold Abi­gail Grimes.

The roy­als then took a short car jour­ney to the Cat­a­lyst sci­ence mu­seum in Widnes, where the Queen un­veiled a plaque to mark the open­ing of the £1.86 bil­lion bridge over the River Mersey.

The two ap­peared to share a joke together as they smiled while watch­ing a per­for­mance by chil­dren from the An­drew Cur­phey The­atre Com­pany.

Mr Cur­phey, 32, who met the roy­als af­ter the per­for­mance, said: “The Queen said she thor­oughly en­joyed it and it was lovely to see the his­tory of the bridge on the videos.

“As Meghan walked away from me she turned back and said: ‘The chil­dren did great, by the way.’

“Meghan seemed re­ally, re­ally calm con­sid­er­ing it was her first of­fi­cial en­gage­ment with the boss.”

Among the dig­ni­taries who met the roy­als in Widnes were Grange Hill and Brook­side cre­ator Phil Red­mond and wife Alexis, the High Sher­iff of Cheshire.

Mr Red­mond joked he should have asked Meghan if she wanted a part in his soap Hol­lyoaks.

He said: “I didn’t ask her, but there’s still lunch yet. She’ll have to go through the au­di­tion process like ev­ery­body else.”

OF­FI­CIAL VISIT: The Queen and the Duchess of Sussex at the open­ing of the new Mersey Gate­way Bridge

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