NEW BEST FRIENDS... MEGHAN AND OUR MERRY MONARCH
THE Duchess of Sussex proclaimed Prince Harry “the best husband ever” and described the joys of married life as the Queen took her under her wing on their first joint royal engagement yesterday.
Meghan looked entirely at ease as she was given a royal masterclass by the Queen in Cheshire.
They giggled like naughty schoolgirls at times as Meghan whispered in the Queen’s ear during visits to Runcorn, Widnes and Chester, after a slow journey to the Northwest on the royal train.
And the Queen sure-footedly defused a moment of confusion as they prepared to get into her Bentley at Runcorn station when Meghan was unsure who should get into the vehicle first.
“What is your preference?” she asked the Queen. “You go first,” said the monarch. “Oh, OK,” said the Duchess.
During a walkabout in Chester, Meghan said of married life “it is wonderful. I’m really enjoying it” to Sharon Briscoe, 61, who had travelled from Chirk in Wales. “I said to give our love to Harry and to look after him,” Mrs Briscoe said. Meghan, 36, replied: “I will do. That means an awful
lot to us. He’s the best husband ever.” The monarch is known to make new royals feel relaxed. Kate Middleton laughed and joked with her when she made her first public engagement with the Queen in Leicester in 2012, almost a year after her wedding to William.
The Queen, in a Stewart Parvin outfit and Rachel Trevor-Morgan hat, joined mourners across the UK in wearing Green for Grenfell to mark the first anniversary of the west London blaze.
Meghan wore a bespoke pencil dress by Clare Waight Keller of Givenchy and pearl earrings that were a present from the Queen.
As the Queen and Meghan opened the new £1.8billion Mersey Gateway toll bridge between Runcorn and Widnes, about 50 protesters opposed to the £2 toll waved placards. The royal pair watched children from local schools perform a dance show celebrating 1,000 years of crossing the river and Meghan told their coach Andrew Curphey: “The children did great.” Mr Curphey said: “She was really calm, considering it was her first official engagement with the boss.”
In Chester, a group of teenage girls skipped school to see the Queen and Meghan – and ended up speaking to them. Maryam Khan, Kate Richards and Henrietta Halligan brought flowers for the Queen and a letter for Meghan saying how inspiring she was. Maryam, 15, said: “We skived off school for this. We have been here for six hours. But it was completely worth it.”
Meghan is of mixed race and Maryam is the third generation of a family from India. Maryam added: “It has brought diversity to the Royal Family. She is a role model, a humanitarian.” The Firm’s new star may have given up being a TV actress, but if she ever misses the drama, she met someone who might be able to help – Brookside, Grange Hill and Hollyoaks creator Phil Redmond.
Redmond joked: “I wondered if she wanted a part in Hollyoaks. She will have to go through the audition process like everyone else.”
Meghan and the Queen at Runcorn station
The Queen with Kate in Leicester in 2012
Cheery across the Mersey...Meghan and the Queen open the new crossing