A nervous and still inexperienced Meghan Markle joined her new grandmother-in-law, Queen Elizabeth, on Thursday for the opening of the new Mersey Gateway Bridge in their first solo outing together. Although the two were photographed chatting away and clearly enjoying each other’s company, they had a minor mishap before getting into the Queen’s Bentley.
“What is your preference?” the new Duchess of Sussex asked the Queen. “You go first,” the monarch said. “Oh, okay,” she replied.
At the ceremony, the pair enjoyed a dance performance by local school children celebrating 1,000 years of crossings over the river. “It’s a magnificent bridge,” Meghan said.
Andrew Curphey, whose theater company brought 80 children from nine local schools for the performance, was giddy as he spoke of Meghan and the Queen. “It’s been a massive treat — a massive buzz for us all.” He added, “They both wanted to talk. The best hit was just before they left. Meghan turned back to me and said, ‘The children did great by the way.'”
Earlier this week, the 36-year-old received backlash for showing off her shoulders at the first-ever Trooping the Colour event with new husband, Prince Harry. Although she looked stunning in an off-the-shoulder dress by Carolina Herrera, social media critics slammed the new royal for breaking protocol. “Kate [Middleton] will ALWAYS be the classy one. Who wears an off-the-shoulder number to such an event? Oh, MM, that’s right,” one Twitter user wrote before another troll added, “Lady? She will never be a ‘lady.’ She broke the royal protocol again by wearing a sexy dress when a more discreet outfit was de rigueur and not an ‘off shoulder dress.’ She will never learn because she craves the limelight.”
Luckily, Meghan, whose shoulders were most certainly covered for this event, is seemingly handling her transition overall with ease. “She was really calm considering it was her first official engagement with the boss,” Andrew said. “She is with the boss, so no pressure!”