It’s not often you see the queen laugh in public.
But Meghan Markle proved once again that she is a fresh tonic for the royals after she reduced the famously straight-faced queen to something approaching a royal giggling fit after she whispered in her ear during a theatrical performance by local children in the British town of Chester.
The queen and Meghan officially opened the Mersey Gateway Bridge and Chester’s Storyhouse Theatre, then had lunch at Chester Town Hall as guests of the city council.
The visit represented Meghan’s first solo public engagement with the queen, and comes less than a month after her marriage to Prince Harry, showing the astonishing speed with which she is taking on official royal duties.
Meghan travelled to Chester overnight, making a sleeper trip with Her Majesty on the royal train, a specially kitted out locomotive that was first put into service in the reign of Queen Victoria (yes, it has been modernized since then).
Meghan was wearing an elegant pair of pearl diamond drop earrings, which, Kensington Palace later confirmed, were a gift from the queen.
There was another unintentionally hilarious moment earlier in the day when awkward footage captured the moment a confused Meghan tried to work out whether she should get into a waiting car before or after the queen.
Meghan, who was wearing an elegant nude haute couture Givenchy dress—designed by Clare Waight Keller, who designed her wedding dress—could be seen waving her hands and asking an aide for guidance. Eventually she asked her grandmother-in-law “What’s your preference?” before being ushered into the car first.
A 72-second silence was observed at 12 noon to mark the one year anniversary of the Grenfell tower block fire in London, in which 72 people died.