LONDON — The former Meghan Markle is making her first joint appearance with Queen Elizabeth II on an official royal visit to the northwest of England.
The queen and the Duchess of Sussex, as Markle is now known, traveled by a special royal train for a series of events Thursday.
They joined the rest of Britain in observing a minute of silence at midday to honor the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire on the anniversary of the deadly London blaze.
Aside from that somber moment, the day was filled with smiles and cheers as the 92-year-old monarch and 36-year-old former actress paired up.
They wore contrasting colors, the duchess choosing a beige Givenchy pencil dress and the queen in a lime green coat-dress and matching hat. The queen seemed comfortable in the company of the newest senior royal.
Their first stop featured a performance by local schoolchildren in the town of Widnes, near Liverpool.
The duchess sat next to the queen for the performance. It was to be followed by events including the unveiling of a plaque to officially open the Mersey Gateway Bridge.
The two royals were greeted by cheering crowds in the center of the city of Chester, where they observed the minute of silence.
The queen worked one side of the street, greeting well-wishers, while the duchess walked down the other side, chatting with local residents and showing her wedding ring to one small group.
The duchess, a former actress on the TV show “Suits,” is easing into royal duties after marrying Prince Harry last month.