Well, kids, yesterday got away from me, so this post is a little (a lot) on the late side – my apologies! Unsurprisingly, the day was a smashing success for the newest member of the Royal Family and there was a warm rapport on display between her and the Queen throughout three separate engagements in Cheshire.
These were not only Meghan’s first engagements with the Queen, but her first without the Duke of Sussex. As always, her poise and elegance in the public eye ensures success, but she is definitely still getting the hang of where to go when. After arriving in Cheshire via the Royal Train (on which she and the Queen traveled overnight), Meghan hesitated about who stepped into the waiting car first – “What is your preference?” she asked.
“You go first,” the Queen responded.
Personally, I found this charming and I thought Meghan handled her uncertainty well. In addition to taking her turn in accompanying HM on her public duties, yesterday also served as a bit of a masterclass in royal work. Meghan, quite, literally, is learning from the best.
The day was broken up into three separate segments – the Mersey Gateway Bridge, the Storyhouse Theatre and a walkabout in Chester. At 12 pm GMT, the two women participated in a moment of silence held to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire.
The Queen officially opened the Mersey Gateway Bridge, the celebration for which included a performance from local schoolchildren depicting 1,000 years of travel across the river.
At the theatre, the visitors were presented with an enthusiastic rendition of “The Wheels on the Bus” from more local children and met with a group of Syrian refugees. They were also given a performance from Fallen Angels, a dance theatre company for recovering addicts.
Reports note that when the pair arrived in Chester for their walkabout, the Queen plunged in straight away, while Meghan hesitated until prompted to move forward by an aide on-hand. The anecdotes shared by members of the public who met her are lovely – she’s still introducing herself (which I still love) and said that Harry has been a wonderful husband so far (I would hope so – it’s been less than four weeks!).
While the Queen was in neon green per her dresser, Angela Kelly, Meghan wore a cream Givenchy dress with a faux cape around her shoulders and a black clutch. Her heels are Sarah Flint. A few articles note that Givenchy may be Meghan’s version of the Duchess of Cambridge’s Alexander McQueen going forward and I think that’s highly possible. I also think that Jimmy Choo and Sarah Flint are her LK Bennett and Stuart Weitzman, so there you go.
Her pearl earrings, by the way, are apparently a gift from the Queen herself.
I thought Meghan looked beautiful, but I actually didn’t love this dress. Maybe in a different context, but the concept of the constricted shoulders and faux cape for a day full of meeting children seemed slightly off.
Before we go, though, I do want to make note of the topic of royal conversation du jour – protocol. People like to bust this one out as an explanation for any number of things – Kate not wearing black to the BAFTAs, sheer tights, skirt length, eating in public, etc. The list really goes on and on and it’s complete BS. Most recently people went nuts about Meghan’s ensemble at Trooping the Colour and the fact she wore bare shoulders. No, she didn’t break “royal protocol.” That’s really not a thing.
And with that, let’s call it a day. Apologies again for my lateness on this one! I have a few more historical posts slated before William’s Middle Eastern tour, which I’m planning on covering daily to the extent possible. Fingers crossed we get a date for Prince Louis’s christening soon and more engagements for Harry and Meghan are announced in the coming days!